Lighter and brighter evenings call for light and easy to eat food.
Over the next few days, various quiches, tarts and salads will be appearing on our plate. One of the first is this Wye Valley Asparagus, Caerphilly Broad Beans and homegrown mint.
D is totally enjoying these leggy green spears whilst they are in season and taking advantage of when he sees it on offer, bringing some home by the bundle for me to work my culinary magic on and bring to the table. But truth is there is not an awful lot you can do to asparagus. I mean I don't want to mess with it too much, turning it into a soup or an asparagus hummus.
Because of the asparagus short season, I really do think the best way to enjoy it is to simply blanch it and tuck in: dipping it into soft boiled eggs; stirred into a pasta dish or as a simple tart topping, maybe even in a risotto.
Back to this home-made Asparagus, Broad Beans and Mint Quiche. All the flavours were there. The green grassy flavour of the asparagus, the burst of the fresh broad beans still in its skin and the mint was just right, not overpowering at all. The oozy eggy creamy cheesy filling was just right too, it had a little wobble which I liked; and more to my surprise this aspect remained - even on reheating.
I often make my own shortcrust pastry, but I am not embarrassed to admit that I do sometimes for speed and convenience use shop bought brand.
Asparagus, Broad Beans and Mint Quiche
Serves 8 as an accompaniment
Blind baked shortcrust pastry lining a 8 - 9 inch fluted tin
For the filling
Bundle of asparagus, blanched and drained
100g podded broad beans, blanched and drained
Handful of fresh mint, removed from the stalk and minced
250ml - 300ml double cream
80g cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, pour the double cream, then whisk in the eggs and season to taste. Stir in the minced mint.
Pour over the blind baked pastry that has been layered with the blanched asparagus and broad beans. Then scatter over the grated cheese.
Bake gas mark 4/180oc for 40 - 45 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cool, before serving.