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With the weather feeling like late spring last weekend I couldn’t help but make a spring inspired tart and seeing all of those chives in the garden I didn’t hesitate one bit.
Every little bud I see peeking out of lifeless branches or silently emerging out beneath the damp earth always makes me stop to take a peak. The air definitely smells of spring. The buds are plump, the grasses appear like pin cushions and the bulbs have broken ground with force.
We definitely take daily walks through the garden to catch everything that is going on and to see how much the clumps of perennials have spread from last year.
Back in side from the amazing weather there was also a beet root soup cooking away in the kitchen that made it into the late afternoon meal that I must share with you soon. These two items were not intended to be eaten together, but I was hungry for a soup of beets so be on the lookout for this soup.
I am certainly making the beet soup again and a few others this weekend and finding more discoveries of spring outdoors.
Enjoy the sunshine!
Asparagus & Leek Tart Recipe [makes 3-6” Tarts]
¾ cup millet flour
½ cup sweet rice flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon sea salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1 large whole egg
2 egg yolks
¾ cup leeks, halved & sliced thin
1 Tablespoons coconut oil
½ bunch asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
4 large eggs
½ cup cream
1 Tablespoons chives, finely sliced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten [for brushing the tart shell]
preparing the tart dough:
1. Combine the millet flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt in a food processor.
2. Add in the cold butter bits and process until a coarse meal forms.
3. Add egg and egg yolk and run the food processor until dough forms.
4. Pour mixture onto a cold work surface and knead until smooth.
5. Form dough into a disc shape and chill until firm, approximately 2-4 hours.
pre-baking the tart shell:
1. Allow dough to soften so it can be rolled out easily, approximately 30 minutes.
2. On a floured piece of parchment roll a third of the dough into a seven inch circle.
3. Press into a six inch tart ring and set aside. Repeat with remaining two rinds & chill for 15 minutes.
4. Bake in a 375°F for 15 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and brush with beaten egg. Bake for another 15 minutes.
6. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
*note: Tart rings have no bottoms so line a baking sheet with parchment and fill with dough right on the sheet.
preparing the filling:
1. Saute leeks in coconut oil for a minute over medium heat.
2. Add asparagus pieces and cook until tender. Cool slightly.
3. Whisk together eggs, cream, chives, salt and pepper.
4. Divide asparagus and leeks amongst the tart shells and pour custard over.
5. Bake until custard is just set in the center, approximately 15-20 minutes.
I don’t have much to say about this recipe, but a basic quiche with gruyere cheese seemed delicious. It has been a while since I have made a quiche. With a busy schedule, planning on what is to be done in the garden I forget how easy and simple a quiche can be.
A quiche served right out of the oven when the crust is still flaky and buttery is divine. The good thing about this type of creation is you really can do a lot with it. I tend to prefer a large quiche as opposed to bite sized ones. They seem to taste and cook up better developing a rich golden color. Today I wanted to test and see how smaller versions look; a more individual portion. The result was still delicious but in order to develop that golden color the quiche would have needed more time in the oven. An over cooked egg gets spongy, so go easy and bake any quiche gently to just set the custard.
Quiche au Fromage Recipe
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled & cubed
5 Tablespoons ice water
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
A few grates of nutmeg
To prepare the crust, place the flour and salt in the food processor and run for a moment to combine. Add the butter and process until a course meal forms. While the machine is still running, pour the ice water in. It will for a quick dough and that’s it. Remove the dough and form it into a flattened disk.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s about an eighth of an inch thick and line your pan. I use an eight inch pan for a large quiche. Chill the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the custard.
Whisk the eggs and the cream together then stir in the remaining ingredient reserving a quarter of a cup for the top. Pour the custard into the pan and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake at 350ºF for about 45 minutes or until the custard has puffed and turned golden.
Asparagus & Potato Salad Recipe
2 bundles asparagus
2 pounds petit red potatoes, halved
Fresh chervil leaves
Fresh chives, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 Tablespoons walnut oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Prepare potatoes, by gently boiling them in lightly salted water, drain and set aside. For the asparagus I peeled the stalks into ribbons by using a vegetable peeler. Peel halfway through the stalk and again from the other side. The tips were trimmed for use in the salad. Keep the tips and ribbons separate. Blanching the asparagus quickly in heavily salted water brings out their vibrant green color. I cooked the asparagus tips for a minute or two and the ribbons took just a few second in the hot tub. Quickly place all of the asparagus in ice water to stop the cooking. Once cold, drain the asparagus and place on paper towels.
To complete the salad whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until creamy. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking and your set. For the final moment, plate the asparagus and potatoes and garnish with as much chervil leaves and chives as you like, and then drizzle on the vinaigrette.