My feelings manifest themselves as baked goods. If I ever take the couch, the therapist should bypass my childhood and ask me about Sunburst Spring Vegetable Quiche with Puff Pastry Crust.
Understanding my mood and emotional state is not difficult -- just check my pantry and fridge.
- Brown Butter Churro Crispy Treats: I'm spontaneous, invincible, and probably a little sleep deprived.
- Quinoa Almond Chickpea Salad with Roasted Scallion Dressing: I'm channeling my inner Californian and atoning from weekend excesses involving Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cake and Chipotle Grapefruit Margaritas.
- One Skillet Spicy Ranch Chicken? I'm lazy and don't feel like spending more than 20 minutes in the kitchen. Also, that skillet is bomb.
I bake to remember those I've loved and lost, to celebrate milestones, and to relive adventures. My time in the kitchen offers me the opportunity to recreate memories of times gone by and to express hopes for the future.
Sunburst Spring Vegetable Quiche with Puff Pastry Crust is every fiber of my being longing for springtime picnics, temperate outdoor runs that don't necessitate layers of spandex, and an abundance of fresh produce. I might not be able to force tulips from the ground or consecutive 60+ degree-days into the forecast, but I can bake my favorite spring veggies into a gorgeous quiche that shines like the sun.
Each spring, I anticipate the arrival of asparagus with a level of excitement most commonly found in five-year-olds waiting for Santa. To me, asparagus means winter is finally losing its grip, flip flops are due to reemerge, and I can start making more Strawberry Broccoli Salad and (slightly) fewer ridiculously cheesy pasta bakes. It's almost cruel how brief asparagus' peak season is, so I feast upon its spring green glory as often as I can. Our current household average asparagus intake: three pounds per week.
In addition to my treasured asparagus, Sunburst Spring Vegetable Quiche with Puff Pastry Crust incorporates two other springtime heralds -- sweet carrots and gentle leeks. The veggie trio is nestled in a creamy custard filling of eggs, Greek yogurt, and a double punch of whole grain and Dijon mustard. The Greek yogurt gives the quiche richness and the two mustards add tasty zip.
Though I love the asparagus/leek/carrot combo in Sunburst Spring Vegetable Quiche, feel free to swap in whatever vegetables you enjoy (or have lingering in your fridge.) Besides crazy easy, tasty stir-fries like this, quiche is my other favorite vehicle for savory leftovers.
Now that I've bored you with my asparagus ardor, it's time to wake up -- we need to talk crust! Baking quiche in a puff pastry is one of the most revitalizing things to happen to my weeknight routine since I realized ricotta cheese makes a killer creamy pasta sauce. Though I love cooking (hi, my name is Erin, and I'm a food blogger), during the fleeting days of spring and summer, I prefer to spend more time outdoors and less time in front of my stove. Also, if I'm entertaining (Easter brunch anyone?), the last thing I need to stress about is if my pie crust is and rolling pin are going to play nice. Puff pastry is a fool proof, zero-fuss, and fabulously flakey, buttery crust. Consider puff pastry your new quiche-baking secret weapon.
Whatever the forecast where you are, bring a 10,000 kilowatt beam of spring into your kitchen with Sunburst Spring Vegetable Quiche in Puff Pastry.
(PS. I'm hoping 10,000 kilowatts is mega-bright, but actual scientists may disagree. Non-negotiable: This lovely quiche belongs in your life!)
Sunburst Spring Vegetable Quiche with Puff Pastry Crust
- Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Spray a 10-inch tart pan or shallow pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 13-inch square. Fit pastry into the prepared dish, press into place and trim off any excess that flows over the top. (I like to do this by running a rolling pin right across the top of the pan). Line the pastry with foil, pressing the foil directly on the pastry's surface, then fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. Remove foil and weights. Let cool.
- Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, then fill the pan with water so that it nearly reaches but does not quite touch the steamer basket. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil, then drop in the cut asparagus, carrots, and leeks. Cover and let steam until the vegetables are easily pierced with a knife, about 5 minutes. Remove from saucepan, drain, and pat dry.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, salt and pepper. Set the prebaked pastry on the prepared baking sheet if it is not there already. Pour in the egg filling, then arrange the vegetables on top.
- Bake quiche for 20-25 minutes, until evenly puffed and lightly golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Erin Clarke is a food blogger fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Find more of her recipes on her blog, The Law Student's Wife.