Summer is just about poking its nose through the door and venturing out into the sunshine. After teasing us with mid-twenties temperatures back at the start of April, summer has been slow in coming. After an arid month, last week saw parts of Lincolnshire as the wettest place in the country. Hardly the weather to inspire the summer kitchen.
It’s not been a good year for asparagus so far, but the recent drenching has given it a boost and in the garden we have that rarest of things, an asparagus glut.
In a normal year, there’s little more to do with asparagus than steam it, cover it in butter and eat it. But with a bit extra, it’s nice to experiment a little and expand the asparagus repertoire.
Asparagus soup is delicious, but this can be done with the stalks, unless you are royally extravagant and use the whole spear. A layer of asparagus tips around a salmon fillet in a puff pastry Wellington is another treat. But for me, it has to be an asparagus quiche.
A good quiche makes a lovely summer dinner. The classic quiche Lorraine recipe can be tweaked to accommodate a huge variety of seasonal ingredients and kitchen leftovers. It is also very forgiving for novices.
Quiches are best served warm, so leave yours to cool a little after removing from the oven. Serve with baby new potatoes and a seasonal salad. The flavours are delicately savoury and the rich golden colour is summer itself in a dish.
10” pastry lined quiche dish
1 bunch asparagus
100g grated cheddar
3 rashers bacon
Line a 10” quiche dish (adjust ingredients for a larger/smaller dish) with shortcrust pastry and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Chop the bacon finely and fry for a few minutes. Leave to cool. Part cook the asparagus, until soft but still frim. Leave to cool.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and then stir in the milk, bacon and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour mixture into the quiche dish and arrange the asparagus evenly. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30-35 minutes. Quiche will be firm and slightly golden.