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Spring’s Last Hurrah by Peggy Bird

            I know. Not sure we’ve actually had spring. But June begins tomorrow. Or Juneuary, as it often is in the the Portland/Vancouver area where “summer” can be a relative thing this time of the year. However, I’m all for officially escorting spring out the door and summer in, hoping at least the rain will get warmer. Or that the weather forecast for a nice weekend is right.

           So, for a romantic dinner this last of spring/first of summer weekend, I’m suggesting a quiche for dinner. (If you’re old enough to remember that “real-men-don’t-eat-quiche” thing, don’t worry, it was wrong. They do. It’s pie, after all.)

This is my adaptation of the classic Quiche Lorraine with the addition of asparagus. Remember, many cultures believe asparagus is an aphrodisiac. So, if you believe it, get in the mood for a romantic weekend. If you don’t, it’s still delicious. With or without quiche, as the Beatles said, all you need is love. Oh, and candles. Don’t forget the candles.

Spring into Summer Quiche

1 prepared piecrust (I use Pillsbury)

1 cup thinly sliced onions

6-8 asparagus spears, the woody bottom part removed and the remaining green part cut into 1-inch pieces.

1½ cups cubed Swiss, Gruyere or asiago cheese

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 ½ cups half and half

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. white pepper

1. Line 9” pie pan with piecrust and bake at 350 degrees for eight minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees.

3. In a saucepan with boiling water, briefly cook asparagus, not more than a minute or two. The pieces should remain bright green and crisp. Drain immediately.

4. Sauté onions until transparent. Do not brown.

5. Blend, eggs, half and half, salt and pepper.

6. Arrange asparagus and onions on piecrust. Scatter cube cheese evenly over the vegetables. Cover with egg/cream mixture.

7. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 15-20 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

8. Serve with crisp bread, a tossed salad and a glass of white wine.

Have a great weekend. Hope the forecast is correct and we get some sun!