This is a simple dish that makes a lovely light lunch or a nice addition to a picnic. It uses seasonal ingredients and the wild garlic pesto takes it up a notch and will impress your dinner guests.
IF FORAGING, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU WASH THE WILD GARLIC THOROUGHLY!
Oven – 190º (170 fan or gas mark 5)
Shortcrust Pastry (bought is ok but I like to make mine)
200 grms Plain Flour
100 grms Salted Butter (or a mix butter & lard if you’re a traditional pastry maker)
300 ml Milk
250 ml Double Cream
A bunch of Asparagus
A bunch of Wild Garlic – leaves and some flowers if you can find them
10 grms Parmesan
Salt & Pepper
Big bunch of wild garlic
Salt & Pepper
30 grms Parmesan
50 grms Pine nuts
Clove of garlic (if you like a strong garlic hit)
Good quality Olive Oil (or rapeseed, good quality)
To make pastry (can be done in a processor if you’re in a rush, just be careful not to over mix)
1. Put flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl
2. Rub in the butter to make fine breadcrumbs
3. Add enough ice cold water to bring together. Too much and you will have a hard, chewy pastry.
4. Quickly form into a ball with as little handling as possible and put into a fridge for approx. half an hour or until needed.
5. When ready to make, roll out the pastry and line an 8” flan tin, or dish (I prefer a tin as this results in a crispier pastry). 6. Prick the bottom and screw up some greaseproof paper, then spread this onto the base of your pastry and add baking beans (rice if you don’t have beans) and bake blind for 15 mins or until just starting to colour.
7. Remove greaseproof paper & beans. I like to brush mine with a little egg, then pop back into the over for a couple of minutes to dry out for a couple of minutes, then remove from oven and put to one side..
8. Turn oven down to 180º (160º / 4)
To make filling
1. Blanche the wild garlic (you really need to do this, otherwise all the water from the garlic will give you a soggy bottom!)
2. Chop finely and squeeze out as much water as you can
3. Blanche the asparagus ( I like to leave mine whole but chop if you prefer)
4. Put eggs, milk & cream into a bowl and whisk/mix together to break up eggs
5. Add salt, pepper and parmesan
6. Lay the asparagus onto the pre-cooked pastry, interspersed with the wild garlic.
7. Pour on half the milk mix, then pop into the oven before pouring the rest of the milk mixture in to top up – this saves spillage!
Depending on how deep your dish is, you may not use all the mix or you may need to add a little more cream/milk to fill your tart. I like to sprinkle on some extra parmesan and cracked black pepper, then cook for approx half an hour, or until just set and starting to colour slightly.
To make the pesto
1. Put wild garlic, salt, cracked black pepper (lots!), pine nuts, parmesan and good olive oil into a liquidiser and whizz up until very fine.
2. Add olive oil if needed to achieve a smooth, thick pesto.
3. Any extra may be stored in a clean, sealed jar in the fridge for a few days and added to pasta or soups – yum!
Garnish with wild garlic flowers and serve with a salad and nice glass of wine.
To make this a special treat, add a couple of raw salmon fillets chopped into bite size pieces (no need to pre-cook) into the filling mixture and cook as above.
P.S. If you don’t have time to make this quiche yourself or if you need help catering event buffets, working lunches or a special dinner, please get in touch. I’m happy to do one or two dishes or a whole event. Contact me at email@example.com or via facebook at Simply Delish Lambourn.