Asparagus and Parmesan Crusted Quiche

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min (includes chilling and cooling time)
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon curry powder 

1 teaspoon poppy seeds 

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional as needed

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled 

3 to 4 tablespoons ice water 

Batter:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch (about 12 ounces) "pencil" asparagus, ends trimmed 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Unsalted butter or nonstick cooking spray, for the pie dish

1/2 pound (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 

4 large eggs, lightly beaten 

1 cup heavy cream 

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 

1 teaspoon hot sauce, preferably Tabasco 

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. For the dough: Pulse the flour, curry powder, poppy seeds and salt in a food processor. Pulse in the butter until it turns to loose crumbs. (Do not overmix.) Add 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water through the top and pulse until the dough comes together and forms a loose ball, adding additional ice water as needed. Remove the dough and form it into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  2. For the batter: Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot and begins to smoke lightly, add the asparagus and cook over high heat until the excess water is cooked out and the stems are softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from the skillet and arrange in a single layer on a kitchen towel to drain and cool.
  3. Place a baking sheet in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch round. Roll the dough up around the rolling pin and roll it back over the pie dish. Press it gently into the bottom and up the sides. (Ideally, there should be about an inch of excess dough hanging over the sides.) Pinch the dough up to create a crimped top edge. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper, then fill it with pie weights or dry beans and bake until light brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and cool at least 15 minutes.
  5. Whisk the cream cheese with the eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream, Worcestershire, hot sauce, nutmeg and black pepper to taste. Line the asparagus up in piles of 5 to 6 at a time. Cut three-quarters of each asparagus into 1-inch slices, leaving the pretty tips separated and intact. Fill the quiche shell with the batter and the 1-inch pieces of asparagus stems. (Reserve the tips for later.) Place the quiche carefully on the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the batter sets and browns on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the reserved asparagus tips on top, then sprinkle with an even layer of the Parmesan. Place back in the oven until the top browns slightly, an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Cool at least 20 minutes, then cut and serve.

Cook’s Note

This is a springtime classic to me: asparagus paired with an egg dish. You can use other vegetables here, like the equivalent weight in sugar snap peas or button mushrooms. You just need to cook the vegetables to drain them of excess water before adding to the quiche. That way, the egg mixture doesn't get runny or weird during the baking when the water leaks out of the vegetables. I like to top my quiche with a little salad dressing for acid. Balsamic, red wine, mustard vinaigrette—any of these will do. You can also broil the cheese on top for the last few minutes, if desired. A note about asparagus: If the stems are dry or tough, peel them lightly with a peeler. If larger, cut them in half lengthwise to make them a more manageable size.