Friday, April 9, 2021

Crustless Quiche with Green Asparagus & Wild Garlic l Bodenlose Quiche mit grünem Spargel & Bärlauch


Although, by definition, a quiche must be in a crust, it is not really necessary, as can be seen from the below pictures and my easily manageable recipe. The wonderful thing about a regular quiche, as well as a crustless quiche, of course, is the fact that you can put just about any vegetable you like in it and it is always delicious. You can serve quiche for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or leftovers the next day, and whether you serve it warm, hot or at room temperature, making it a great option for a work or school lunch (these days, that probably means at-home school lunches and online meetings and conferences) or a picnic (these days, that probably means small and intimates ones).

My simplified version of a classic French quiche requires no pastry skills, thereby shortening the list of ingredients and reducing the preparation and cooking times considerably. 




In springtime, fragrant wild garlic, which is botanically classified as a wild as well as a medicinal herb, grows in forests throughout many European countries. It begins to show up in German markets in early to mid-March, and in my garden just around the same time. Wild garlic can be eaten raw as well as cooked and every year I try to make as many dishes with this delicious herb as I can, and I will prepare wild garlic Spätzle, pestos, butters, pancakes, focaccias and soups.

In Europe, wild garlic has many peculiar identities - 'bear's garlic' or 'devil's garlic' and 'stinking Jenny' are just some of themn - no surprise, since wild garlic gives off an incredibly pungent smell in the wild. Unlike common cultivated garlic, it's the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs. The taste is more delicate too, similar to the flavor of chives (Schnittlauch).

The German name 'Bärlauch' (lat. 'Allium ursinum') literally means 'bear leek' and my favourite name origin story involves sleepy bears coming out of hibernation and munching on the pungent leaves as they fully wake up.

Wild garlic is particularly delicious in a quiche and pairs beautifully with green asparagus and the savory egg and cream custard. But if you cannot get your hand on wild garlic, you can substitute young (baby) spinach instead.


Crustless Quiche with Green Asparagus & Wild Garlic l Bodenlose Quiche mit grünem Spargel & Bärlauch

(serves 8 to 10)

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs (M), free-range or organic
  • 250ml cooking cream (full as well as low fat will work here) OR go with milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ground chili flakes (optional) OR add freshly grated nutmeg
  • a small bundle of freshly picked wild garlic leaves (Bärlauch) OR about 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, such as Italian parsley, basil, chives or tarragon OR substitute with young spinach leaves 
  • 250g green asparagus, washed, ends trimmed, pre-cooked for 2 minutes, drained and cut into thirds
  • seasonal salad, to serve




Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (356°F) and prepare your baking dish - lightly grease a 24cm (9.5in) tart pan, quiche dish or pie plate and line with baking parchment - it’s easier if you crumble the parchment a bit before you line the baking pan).
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs until well beaten. Then whisk in the cream OR milk, and salt, pepper and some ground chili flakes (optional) – make sure that the egg mixture is seasoned well.
  3. Add the chopped wild garlic/herbs/spinach.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into your prepared dish, scatter over the asparagus and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or just until set and golden.
  5. Serve warm or cold, decorated with additional fresh wild garlic leaves or more herbs, sliced into wedges and with a crisp green salad of your choice.





You may add any other ingredient and swap the green asparagus for the white variety, or go with broccoli, cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli, cherry tomatoes or other seasonal veggies.

If you have any leftovers, they can be refrigerated in an airtight container.




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