Asparagus Quiche


Asparagus is a tender, delicious vegetable and its spring appearance after the long winter makes it a special treat. 

One of my favorites ways to use asparagus is in a quiche. The name sounds fancy but it is easy to make. There is no limit to the combinations of vegetables, meats or cheeses that can be used, but this version highlights fresh garden asparagus and chives. 

As a bonus it reheats well, so provides lunch for a couple of days.

For a 9 inch quiche

1 pie crust

5 large eggs

1-1/2 cups half and half or milk

1 cup of asparagus, cut into thin rounds

1 cup shredded swiss cheese

1/4 cup minced fresh chives, plus 3 long pieces for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Pie crust is quickly made by mixing 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 1/3 cup shortening. Stir in water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball, cleaning the sides of the bowl. Handle as little as possible, kneading only 2 or 3 times to make a smooth ball. Roll into a circle larger than the pie pan and transfer the crust into the pan. Prick the crust or use pie weights to keep the crust from puffing and pre-bake for 10 minutes in 375º oven. (You can use a pre-made crust, if desired.)

Evenly distribute asparagus, cheese and minced chives over bottom of crust. Mix eggs, half and half, salt and pepper. Pour over the filling being careful not to overflow the crust. Add long pieces of chives in a decorative pattern on top.

Bake at 375º for 30 to 40 minutes until the eggs are set and the top lightly browned. Let cool slightly and cut into wedges for serving. 

Pair with a crisp green salad fresh from the garden and a glass of chardonnay. 

If this recipe intrigues you, check out my book Simply Delicious. Part memoir and part cooking instruction, this is how I cook. 

Chive Blossoms

Chive blossoms are more than just a pretty decoration at the end of an oniony stalk. These delicate purple blooms are edible. Pick whole blossoms by pulling gently at the base of the flower to pop off the entire bloom. Give them a quick rinse and dry on a paper towel or drying rack. You can even use a salad spinner.


After most of the bloom is dry (don’t worry about every drop of water evaporating), grasp the stem end in one hand and pluck out the tiny blossoms with the other. These individual blooms will pull out several at a time.


My favorite way to use chive blossoms is stir into mashed potatoes just after mashing. The blooms add a faint chive flavor plus a splash of color.

Another option is to include a handful in each layer of au gratin potatoes. The color stands out against the creamy white sauce and golden yellow cheese.

Salads are an additional tasty place to use these blooms. Sprinkle a few across the top of a green lettuce salad for an unusual color addition.

This year, the blooms are abundant and I experimented with freezing the blooms for later use. After washing and drying, pull apart the blooms. Spread in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for several hours or overnight. Pack in crush proof containers or freezer bags. After a week in the freezer, I tested some by sprinkling over grilled cheesy potatoes. Just like fresh picked. I expect to use these throughout the winter.



To make grilled potatoes:

Slice four to five medium potatoes onto a large sheet of heavy duty foil. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Fold over the foil to seal tightly. Place over hot coals on charcoal grill turning occasionally for about 20 minutes. Remove from grill, open the packet and sprinkle with a half cup of shredded cheese and a handful of fresh or frozen chive blossoms. Close the packet for three to four minutes or until the cheese has melted.


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And try some chive blossoms….