Have you ever seen how asparagus grows?
Being one of the first vegetables of spring, it sure does put in its just performance. At Pedrosa’s Asparagus Farm in Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island, we got to witness it first hand. You can marvel at how each individual spear head pokes itself up from the dirt, commencing its daily journey towards sunlight. We were told that on one warm day, each spear can grow… and grow… and keep growing until it resembles a 4-foot tree!
“Asparagus is a good source of inulin which acts as a prebiotic in our digestive tracts. It is also a great source of fibre contributing further to its beneficial effects on digestive health.”
One day, when I am the proud owner of my Fernwood dream house, the first thing I am going to do is dig an asparagus bed in the garden. The work will pay off 3 years later when the mature asparagus can finally be harvested. For 4 weeks of the spring, I will be cutting back the asparagus on a daily basis, eating more asparagus than I ever thought possible. But for now, I have Pedrosa.
Time to start building my asparagus recipe repertoire. There is no question that sautéing asparagus in some butter and olive oil over a high heat for 4 minutes is the best way to enjoy fresh asparagus; quiche does come in at a close second. For more recipes see Pedrosa’s Asparagus Farm website.
Simple Crustless Asparagus Quiche with Cottage Cheese
One of my favourite ways to use this seasonal spring vegetable is to make it into a simple crustless quiche. I use cottage cheese to boost up the protein, and good quality mustard to add some depth of flavour. This simple vegetarian dish is naturally gluten-free, and paleo, keto and friendly
- 450 g (1 lb) asparagus fresh
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup cottage cheese organic
- 4 eggs free range
- 3/4 cup milk organic
- 1 tsp mustard seeded
- sea salt
- pepper ground
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the asparagus by trimming off any dry ends. You also want to but the spears to fit into your frying pan, save any stalk that's been chopped to be added to the quiche.
You will probably need to cook the asparagus in two batches as you want the asparagus to lye in a single row, not on top of each other. Heat 1 tbsp. of the olive oil and gently fry half the onion for 3 minutes. Add half of the asparagus and satuee in the pan for about 4 minutes or until bright green, turning the spears regularly. Repeat with second batch. Put both batches aside to cool.
Optional: In a food processor blend up cottage cheese, add egg, milk, mustard and season. Blend again to mix.
If you don't have a food processor, it is also fine to mix these ingredients by hand. It tastes just as good.
Fold in the parmesan cheese.
Prepare a quiche pan by greasing it with some olive oil. Pour in the cheese and egg mixture. First, add the onion and the chopped asparagus pieces to the mixture. Next lay down the spears in a single row. If now all the spears fit, chop the remaining spears into bit size pieces and add to the quiche mixture.
Put in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve with your favourite salad.
*Parmesan cheese is not suitable for strict vegetarians. If you are a vegetarian seek out another hard cheese alternative.