Quiches are a quick fix for lunch, supper or brunch, easily created with whatever is in the fridge. This Wild Asparagus, Feta and Thyme quiche is inspired by the Quiche Caitlin recipe from Maman Café’s cookbook, The Cookbook. Maman, founded by Elisa Marshall and Ben Sormonte, is a small slice of French café heaven in the centre of New York. I plan to slowly cook my way through all their divine sweet cake and tart recipes😁
Wild or Cultivated Asparagus
In The Cookbook, Maman uses cultivated asparagus – of course, as there is not a lot of wild asparagus growing in the centre of New York. Asparagus is prohibitively expensive in Greece and difficult to source locally, so it had to be the wild variety. In many parts of Europe, rather like the sites of porcini mushrooms, foragers are fiercely protective of their wild asparagus sites. Luckily for me, even though it’s coming to an end, I managed to find a big handful just below the house. Wild Asparagus is very delicate and slim and quite a fiddle to eat, so adding it to quiche is a beautiful way to enjoy it. Hopefully, you can buy it locally!
The all-important homemade shortcrust pastry
When making quiche, you must make your own shortcrust. It is a zillion times tastier than anything you can buy. Make it in the food processor or by hand. Rub the flour and butter together and add the egg yolk and iced water until it just comes together. The secret is cold butter, iced water, minimum handling and a minimum resting time of 30 minutes. The pastry likes to ‘relax’. Before rolling it out, bring it back to room temperature and blind bake to rule out any soggy bottoms. It takes a little time, but the actual ‘creation’ takes minutes. Make a double batch, freezing half for next time.
I have used half cream, half yoghurt and only four eggs for my wild asparagus quiche. I don’t like the eggs to overpower the general flavour. After that, use feta, spring onions, nutmeg and thyme for flavouring.
For more baking ideas, click here.
Wild Asparagus Quiche with Feta and Thyme
- 1 24 cm loose-bottom tart tin
- 90 g wholemeal flour
- 90 g white all-purpose flour use 100% white flour, if you prefer
- 90 g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg-yolk
- 1-2 tbsp iced water
- generous pinch salt
- 4 eggs
- 140 ml cream
- 140 ml Greek yoghurt
- ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 15 g equal to one tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
- 150 g crumbled greek feta
- 2-3 spring onions – cut finely lengthways, keeping as much of the green as you can
- 350 g asparagus – wild or cultivated – remove any woody stems and cut to fit the tart tin; cut the thicker cultivated asparagus lenghways
- pinch salt
- generous grinding of black pepper
- Ideally, in a food processor but equally easy by hand. Rub the butter and flour together until fine breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg with half the iced water, add to the flour mixture, adding more water so it just comes together.
- The secret of good shortcrust is don't overhandle and leave it to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm.
- After 30 minutes, remove the pastry from the fridge and allow it to come back to room temperature. Roll out between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper. The pastry is very short and a little crumbly and why it tastes so good. Line the tart tin and prick the base with a fork. Blind bake for 10 minutes at 200°C. Remove the baking beans and bake for another 2-5 minutes to dry out the base. Don't let it brown.
- While the pastry is resting, whisk the eggs, cream and yoghurt together with a pinch of salt, good grinding of black pepper, nutmeg and chopped thyme.
- Evenly, arrange the spring onions, asparagus and feta over the base of the tart. Pour over the quiche filling. Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes. The quiche is ready when the pastry and filling are golden brown. The filling should no longer wobble😁
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, serve warm with a peppery green salad and new minty potatoes.