One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef. She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI: http://www.thepalate.net/. Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, close to 20 years ago. It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home. Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers. Enjoy!
Asparagus and Spring Onion Crustless Quiche
Asparagus and spring onions are in season now and can easily be found in any grocery stores. When buying asparagus, look for larger stalks as they are far more flavorful. Fresh spring onions should be easy to find but you can substitute leeks, sweet onions or scallions. Chives are abundant this time of year too. If you don’t have any ask a friend or neighbor, they will most likely be happy to share from their gardens.
This dish can be served as a meal with a salad or as a side dish.
4 large eggs
1 cup half and half or whole milk
2 small fresh spring onions (one leek, ½ sweet onion can be substituted)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup asparagus (cut into 2 inch pieces)
2 tbsp fresh chives chopped
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
½ cup chopped ham
Salt and pepper
When prepping the asparagus, it is best to break off the woody ends. Take one piece of asparagus and snap it towards the bottom of the stalk. This is a natural break point and will leave you with the tender part of the asparagus stalk. Then take the remaining stalks of asparagus and cut them with a knife at this same point. I sometimes peel the bottom outer skin of the asparagus; it helps it to cook more evenly.
- Butter a 9 inch pie plate.
- Sauté the onion in the olive oil until tender (about 3-5 mins). Add the asparagus and chives and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes. Spoon this mixture into the bottom of the buttered pie plate. Add the ham and the cheese.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, and salt and pepper until mixture is well blended. Pour this mixture into the pie plate over asparagus, ham and cheese mixture.
- Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until set.
Added benefits of eating asparagus: ”
- It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
- This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
- Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.
- Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.)
- One more benefit of asparagus: It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.” ~ Cheryl Forberg, R.D. (Full article at link.) Also see: http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-asparagus/ as well as: https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/diet-nutrition/10-health-benefits-asparagus-need-know/
“Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, contain a wide variety of health-enhancing compounds like vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. They contain vitamins K and C for bone health and vitamin A for eye health. Vitamins A and C also have strong antioxidant properties linking foods containing these vitamins to a decreased risk of heart disease. Vitamin C may also help prevent high blood pressure which can lower your risk of heart disease. And the phytochemicals in green onions—like quercetin and anthocyanins—may support immune system function.” ~ Michelle Kerns (Full article at link.)