Today on the blog, we’re excited to welcome a guest post from Marina Delio, author of The Yummy Mummy Kitchen: 100 Effortless and Irresistible Recipes to Nourish Your Family with Style and Grace:
Now that Spring is blooming, I thought I would share a few of my ingredients for a sweet season. This is the Secret Ingredient blog, after all. Spring is about new life. It’s a time to start fresh, so let’s get inspired.
Spring is the perfect time to try something new. It could be a cooking class, raising backyard chickens, or planting a vegetable garden. Subscribe to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or vow to visit the farmers’ market weekly to spark your kitchen creativity.
Spring is my favorite season in the kitchen. By the end of winter, I tire of hearty squash and winter greens and yearn for the juicy stone fruits and berries of summer. Farmers’ markets become a bit more exciting in the spring. Chickens start laying more eggs, peas and asparagus shoot up from the ground and flowers burst open. My dishes become prettier this time of year, when I can grab some pea tendrils and sweet pea flowers from the garden to use as garnish.
With longer days we can spend more time outside. In addition to visiting our Santa Barbara farmers’ markets with my two little girls, I’m looking forward to picnics in wildflower fields and meeting our friends at the park for dinner. A long sandwich made with grilled vegetables on a baguette is my favorite take-along dinner.
We own three pet chickens, and our family loves eggs as the star of a meatless dinner in the form of quiche, frittata, or huevos rancheros. I’ll share my recipe for Mom’s Best Quiche below.
Enjoy the spring!
Mom’s Best Quiche (Serves 6-8)
Making quiche at home is much easier than most people think, and quiche is a great high-protein meatless meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. On nights when there seems to be nothing special in the fridge, I often make quiche, as I can always round up some eggs, cheese, milk, and vegetables. This quiche can be made hours ahead of time and reheated in a 300˚F oven for 15 minutes. Feel free to replace the mushrooms and asparagus in this recipe with any vegetables you have on hand. Half a yellow onion or one whole shallot can be used if leeks are not available.
1 prepared piecrust
1 tablespoon extra-virgin
1 leek, sliced
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1 cup asparagus, cut into bite-size
3 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
½ cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Roll out the piecrust dough and fit into a pie dish. Lightly poke the bottom and sides of the pastry all over with a fork. Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the weights and foil and continue baking another 5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. Reduce the heat to 375˚F.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek, mushrooms, and asparagus to the pan. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté the vegetables until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the crust with a slotted spoon, so that most of the liquid remains in the pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, cream, milk, cheeses, and mustard. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Bake for 50 minutes, until the quiche is firm and lightly browned. Check after 20 minutes to ensure that the crust is not browning too quickly. Cover the exposed crust with foil if it is getting too dark.