Quiche aux asperges et pleurotes

asparagus quiche2

Asparagus quiche with oyster mushrooms

This recipe combines two of my favorite flavors of spring into a rich and delicate quiche that works equally well as a lunch dish or as a starter for a more elaborate meal. Serve with a salad alongside and a bottle of chilled rosé.

oyster mushroomsOne of the star ingredients is oyster mushrooms — pleurotes in French — which have a delightfully earthy flavor. If they are not available where you live, substitute any other mushrooms. As for the asparagus, you will get best results if you choose thin spears.

As always, the quality of the ingredients will determine the outcome. Go for free-range or organic eggs and the best possible cream.

You will need a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Ingredients for the crust that are not listed below include 1/4 pound (110 g) unsalted butter, one egg and a generous cup of flour. Click on the pâte brisée link to see the crust recipe.

1 pâte brisée (flaky tart dough)
1/2 pound (220 g) green asparagus

1/4 pound (110g) oyster mushrooms
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (20 cl) crème fraîche or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt plus a little more for the vegetables
freshly ground black pepper

Begin by making the pâte brisée. Click here for the recipe. Pat the dough into your tart pan. Do not prick the bottom — you want the crust to be well-sealed to prevent the filling from leaking through. Set the tart shell in the fridge to chill while you proceed.

Rinse the asparagus spears and shake dry. Cut off the bottoms to leave spears about 6 inches (15 cm) long. Cut crosswise into quarters. Place in the basket of a steamer and steam until very tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat.

Clean the mushrooms by brushing them off. Cut off the bottoms and slice or tear into manageable pieces. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a heavy bottomed pan. When it is sizzling, add the mushrooms. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have wilted. Sprinkle with a little salt. Turn down the heat and cook about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

Melt the other tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Add the asparagus pieces and sauté gently for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (350 F, 180 C).

Crack the 3 eggs into a medium bowl. Whisk with a wire whip until they are well blended and frothy. Add the cream and whisk again until well blended. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and grind in some black pepper. Whisk again.

asparagus quiche1Remove the chilled tart shell from the fridge. Arrange the mushrooms and asparagus pieces over the bottom of the shell. Pour the cream mixture on top.

Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is golden and the quiche is starting to brown. Remove and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

If you’d like to make the quiche ahead of time, simply heat it up in a warm oven for a few minutes before serving.

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