If I had to choose a favorite spring vegetable, it would be a tie between asparagus and snow peas. Pencil-thin asparagus stalks look so pretty on a plate and like snow peas it tastes delicious either fresh or cooked. Though we don’t yet grow our own asparagus, the thought has crossed our minds on several occasions. We keep looking around the yard trying to decide where we want to put everything we want to grow, and we just haven’t chosen a place yet for asparagus. Things are getting tight in some spots so we have to think carefully about how plants will work together before building more beds and putting in anything else.
Asparagus is a perfect ingredient for quiche; well actually for egg dishes in general. I choose the thin stalks of asparagus for tenderness and save the thicker stalks for soup. Think of omelets with asparagus or scrambled eggs with asparagus and prosciutto, a beautiful way to liven up your morning eggs.
This is a crustless quiche, my favorite for ease of preparation, with some low fat cottage cheese for creamy texture as well as extra protein. We use low fat cottage cheese for a variety of things, and it’s actually a favorite snack item in our home. Daisy is my favorite brand of cottage cheese (and sour cream) because unlike many other brands, they use only milk, cream, salt, and vitamin A to make their cottage cheese. Nothing extra is added, which also makes it a good option for those following a gluten-free diet. [Disclosure: This opinion is my own, and Daisy didn’t ask or pay me to write this.]
[Updated January 6, 2011.]
Asparagus Quiche with Mushrooms and Shallots
- 10-inch quiche pan, lightly coated with cooking spray
- large skillet
- medium mixing bowl
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 4 ounces white mushrooms (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 ounces thin asparagus (woody ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
- 6 eggs (beaten)
- 12 ounces low-fat cottage cheese (I recommend Daisy brand.)
- fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° F/190° C.
- In the large skillet, sauté the sliced shallots over medium heat until they are soft, then add the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until the mushrooms are soft and tender. Spread the shallots, mushrooms, and garlic all over the bottom of the prepared quiche pan.
- Layer the asparagus pieces over the mushrooms, then sprinkle about 1/3 cup of the shredded cheddar on top.
- In the mixing bowl, stir together the beaten eggs, cottage cheese, and remaining cheddar cheese. Pour the mixture over the asparagus layer, spreading to the edge of the pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.