EASY OLIVE OIL QUICHE CRUST + Growing Asparagus

Easy Olive Oil Quiche Crust | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

So… several years ago we decided to establish an asparagus bed. This is a major commitment, maybe not as much as getting married of having children, but these are ‘serious commitment’ garden plants. I will explain why. Firstly, once you plant the asparagus ‘crowns’ you won’t start harvesting asparagus to eat for 3 years (2 years if you plant 1 year crowns). Yes you heard me right, T H R E E years! The first two years you basically do nothing, other than keep the bed weed-free and water regularly so the roots become well established. You leave the plants to grow out of control into a furry mass that is then cut back in the autumn until it starts to sprout again in the spring. Basically for half the year it looks like we have an empty 3m x 1m garden bed. (Funnily enough our house-sitters while we were overseas this winter thought it would be nice to plant some lovely natives in our asparagus bed – but that is another story!)

asparagus Collage

On the third year – which is the year we are in at the moment – you can start to harvest a small amount of asparagus, barely enough to make a meal so I mostly chomp away on a raw asparagus stalk or two while roaming the garden. However, and this is the exciting part, from next year we will be able to harvest every single asparagus that shows it head for about 2 months. We planned the size of our asparagus bed to supply us with the equivalent of 3 bunches of asparagus a week. AND a well established and healthy asparagus bed can produce for around 20 years ~ that is where the real commitment lies. As they don’t like to be transplanted you really want to be settled where you are living if you are planning an asparagus bed. Besides weeding and watering, we do very little to the bed. The occasional layer of mulch, and asparagus likes salt so when we collect seaweed off the beach we lay it around the asparagus – sand and all – and leave it to be washed by the rain and garden hose for several weeks before making into seaweed fertiliser.

Learn more about planting an asparagus bed in this article.

CHRISTMAS RECIPE…

Next week I have two ideas for a special Christmas-y dessert to share. One involves chocolate and the other an ever-so-slightly-healthier version of the traditional New Zealand pavlova. As I can’t decide which one to share I thought you could help make the choice for me. Leave a comment below, or on my FACEBOOK post for today’s recipe, telling me whether it is ‘chocolate’ or ‘pavlova’! I will tally up the response in a few days and get cooking and photographing the chosen recipe to share early next week. Let the fun begin..!

Easy Olive Oil Quiche Crust | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

 

Easy Olive Oil Quiche Crust

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 - 6

I have made this quiche crust in several variations for about 10 years now. It is quick and easy to make with no rolling or resting of the dough, simply mix, press and cook. It is also very flexible with the dry ingredients as long as the same quantity is used. The quiche you see pictured here I made gluten-free with buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, ground almonds and ground quinoa. It is delightfully light and holds its shape well due to the blind baking. The addition of the vinegar helps to soften the flours.

Ingredients

1 cup flour (GF: use 1/2 cup buckwheat flour + 1/2 cup brown rice flour)

1/2 cup ground nuts (or extra 'quick-cook' rolled oats)

1/2 cup 'quick-cook' rolled oats (GF: use 1/2 cup ground quinoa)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

approx. 1/2 cup cold water

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a 25cm quiche dish or pie tin with olive oil . Preheat the oven 180C.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well and add the oil then quickly rub with your fingers to make a breadcrumb like texture. Add the vinegar and 1/2 cup water and use a large spoon or spatula to briefly mix together until a ball forms. Add a little extra cold water if the dough is dry. Knead briefly to combine. Tip the dough directly into the greased dish/ tin and quickly press with your fingers to evenly cover the base. Cover the crust with a sheet of baking paper and fill with ceramic pie weights or dried beans and 'blind bake' for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and cook for a further 10 minutes until the crust is lightly golden. Cool a little on a cake rack while preparing the filling.
http://www.homegrown-kitchen.co.nz/2013/12/11/easy-olive-oil-crust/

Quiche Filling - Asparagus & Coconut Milk

This is a quiche filling I have been making recently with asparagus in season. I have also been playing with using coconut milk in place of milk/ cream for my dairy sensitive son. It is surprisingly good making the custard light and flavorsome. I prefer to use Trade Aid coconut milk as it doesn't separate.

Ingredients

4 free-range eggs

1/2 cup Trade Aid coconut milk

1/4 tsp sea salt

cracked pepper

1 bunch asparagus, stalks trimmed and halved

100g goat feta, crumbled (optional, omit if making completely dairy-free)

Directions

  1. Pour the custard into the quiche/ pie crust. Arrange the asparagus evenly in the custard and top with crumbled feta. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the custard is just set. Serve hot or cold ~ perfect for taking to a potluck or picnic at the beach/ river/ park...

Notes

*I make quinoa flour by blitzing whole quinoa in our coffee grinder. We use a paint brush (bought specifically for the task) to clean out the grinder after use for grinding coffee, nuts, seeds, quinoa etc.

http://www.homegrown-kitchen.co.nz/2013/12/11/easy-olive-oil-crust/

*In ‘a world of their own’ in the garden.

Kids in the garden | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

About Nicola
I live with my family of four in sunny Nelson, New Zealand where we grow food in the backyard and travel by bicycle often. I am a trained chef and nutrition consultant, and the author of Feeding Little Tummies. Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoy my simple recipes and garden adventures x

12 Responses to EASY OLIVE OIL QUICHE CRUST + Growing Asparagus

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  • Nicky says:

    Chocolate for me thanks Nicola! This looks like such a clever and tasty recipe, will definitely try. I take it the homemade quinoa flour is fine without rinsing like normal quinoa?

    I have just made a whole lot f your recipes for various celebrations over last weekend – Moroccan chicken, purple cake for Emily, salted caramel flan plus your sunny muesli…all went down a treat with lots of compliments and interest :-)

    • Thanks Nicky! I love that my recipes are made and shared around. I think you are one of my best advocates, thanks again!
      Yes the quinoa is used whole and dry then ground until it is like a coarse flour. It doesn’t have a bitter taste as can happen if not rinsed probably because it is mixed with other flours. Enjoy!

  • Anja says:

    Ok, someone has to jump in for Pav now… ;o) Please share the Pavlova recipe! I love to eat Pavlova but the fact that there’s just too much sugar in it really puts me of from enjoying it… Thanks for this asparagus recipe – on my list for the weekend.

    • Hi Anja, good news Pavlova came up on top on my Facebook page. I will share my recipe early next week. I hope I meet everyone’s expectations for a healthier version of pavlova, oh the pressure … !

  • Sharon says:

    I would love a pav recipe that does not have any refined sugar in it, I have tried using rapadora but it’s too caramel flavor and it doesn’t stay crisp, more like caramel Marshmallow, still yummy but not like a pav. So would love to c what you come up with

    • Hi Sharon, that is the problem the heavier unrefined sugars have too much moisture in them so make the pav dense. But you can use less sugar and a particular type of unrefined sugar plus some other important tips. Good news Pavlova won the race so all will be revealed next week!

  • I love asparagus!! Not sure if we’d be committed to establishing an asparagus bed, haha. I’m dying to get my hands on one of those rectangle tart tins but can’t find one anywhere over here!

    • Hi Christina, there is plenty of time for the asparagus bed… I searched around for the rectangle tart tin and ended up buying online through the thehomestore.co.nz. I am surprised you can’t find one in Canada. Have a great Christmas x

  • I had no idea that it took so long to grow asparagus! The only time I have ever seen it growing in the ground was wild asparagus that we picked on a walk in a forest staying with family in Italy a few years ago. That said the taste was amazing, so maybe its something that I need to invest in planting in our own garden :) Love the look of that quiche too, the olive oil crust sounds amazing!

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