Matt came up with the title.
I don't generally like quiches. Never have. Something about making something savory in a pie crust/form makes me uncomfortable. I also tend to not like omelettes or anything that strays too much from the traditional breakfast food...so, yea, this wasn't looking so good in terms of my tastes, but I wanted to challenge myself. And since I've been told by at least 3 people now that it can't REALLY BE a quiche if it doesn't have eggs or cheese, I thought maybe this one had a chance. And I do love asparagus...
So, I went to Veganomicon again (everyone should buy, blah blah blah, if either of the authors are reading this blog and think I should cut back on posting your recipes, please let me know, I just want people to realize that this book is AMAZING!!!), and again, had a huge success.
But here's what I did wrong:
-In terms of the crust, the shortening was really hard. I refrigerated it like the authors said to, but it was basically impossible to cut the shortening up, so different parts of the crust had chunks of shortening while other parts had none.
-I ended up using all the water (1/4 cup and the 2 tablespoons) mostly because the shortening wouldn't cut up. Haha. Cut up.
-In terms of the quiche filling, I couldn't find navy beans at the grocery store (weird, I know), so I used Canary Beans??? Not sure what those are.
-I burned the shallots a little bit...whoops.
Here is the crust (yes that's a rolling pin in the background, yes I know how to use it):
Here's the green asparagus goo (i.e. filling):
Here's the quiche on it's way into the oven (so pretty):
And here it is after being baked (I am SUPER proud of this, can't you tell?):
And finally, a slice:
I think I turned a corner in my cooking skills with this one. Not only was it beautiful, it was tastey. But tastey in that "this marries the flavors well" more than the "I liked it because it has my favorite things and it tastes like something else I like," you know? Like, it was trying something new and the taste was unique. I may be growing my palette...
This coming from Ms. Ketchup 2011.
Anyways, here are the recipes for the crust and the filling. My crust was pretty hard, so I'm not sure how I would remedy that. Maybe I'd try using unexpired shortening...that could help.
Basic Single Pastry Crust:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cold non-hydrogenated vegan shortening
1/4 cup cold water, plus 2 tablespoons if needed
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the shortening by the teaspoon, but you don't need to be precise about this. You just want to add it in small chunks in three batches and then cut it into flour with each addition. Cut the shortening in until the dough is crumbly and pebbly.
2. Combine the vinegar with 1/4 cup of the water. Add the mixture to the dough in three batches, gently mixing it into the dough with a fork, until the dough holds together when pinched. If need be, add up to 2 tablespoons more water.
3. Gather the dough into a ball and knead gently a few times, just until it holds together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour, then flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
4. When ready to roll out the crust, place a large piece of baking parchment on your work surface. Unwrap the dough and place it on the parchment. Sprinkle your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. It may slip around a bit from the parchment, but that's okay, just work steadily and gently. Your crust is now ready to use.
5. If using as a bottom crust, lift the parchment and flip the crust into the pie plate. Tuck in and trim the edges.
Asparagus Quiche Directions:
1 recipe Basic Single Pastry Crust (recipe follows)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound asparagus, rough ends discarded
2 shallots, skins removed, chopped coarsely
3 cloves garlic
1 cup walnuts
1-1/2 cups cooked navy beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup plain whole wheat bread crumbs
4 slices beefsteak or Holland tomato, or any really big tomato
1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the tips off four pieces of the asparagus and set aside for garnish. Slice the rest into 1/2-inch lengths.
2. Sauté the asparagus (except for the reserved tips) in a tablespoon of the olive oil for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While the asparagus is cooking, place the walnuts, the 1/4 cup of tarragon, and the nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse into crumbs, so that no whole walnuts are left.
4. Remove the asparagus from the pan and transfer to a shallow bowl to cool a bit. Sauté the shallots in another tablespoon of the olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes, being careful not to burn it. Transfer the shallots and garlic to the asparagus and let cool for a few more minutes.
5. When the vegetables have stopped steaming, add them to the food processor. Pulse a few times and scrape down the sides. Add the beans and puree until relatively smooth, although the walnuts will still be grainy. Add the cornstarch (sift first, if very clumpy) and pulse until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl (use the bowl the veggies were cooling in, to cut down on dish duties), cover, and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
7. Roll out the pastry dough to fit an 8-inch glass pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
8. Remove the baked crust from the oven. Spoon the asparagus filling into the crust and smooth out evenly. Sprinkle the top with half the bread crumbs and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Then, place the tomato slices on top of the bread crumbs with an asparagus tip between each tomato. Sprinkle on the remaining bread crumbs, some freshly ground black pepper, a few pinches of salt, and the chopped tarragon. Drizzle again with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
9. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.