Saturday, March 28, 2015

Asparagus and Leek Quiche

I'm taking advantage of the good-looking, low-priced asparagus in our local stores.  Mostly, I just snap of the woody ends, roast it in the oven with lemon olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and eat it with my fingers.  However, with Easter approaching, eggs are on my mind and asparagus and eggs are a great combination.This quiche with creamy leeks, swiss cheese, baby spinach, olives, and asparagus is excellent both hot and cold, so make it ahead of time and serve it for brunch or with a salad for dinner with friends.

I roasted the asparagus in the oven at 400F degrees for 15 minutes.  It's easy to overcook, so check it often. You want it to retain some bite. Toss with a little lemon juice if you like. Once cool enough to handle, I sliced the stems in rounds and kept the tips to decorate the top.

Turn the oven down to 350F degrees to cook the quiche.

I chopped a leek and sauteed it in butter until soft, then added the baby spinach,the cut asparagus, and a few chopped green olives (optional).

I used a frozen pie-crust and covered the base with grated Swiss cheese.  I then put the tips aside and topped the cheese with the leek-spinach-asparagus-olive mix,  spreading it out evenly.  More grated Swiss on top and a little parmesan.  I then poured in the custard of 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, S&P, beaten with enough half-and-half to make a total of 1 1/2 cups. I placed the tips decoratively on top.

Bake for about 35 minutes. Good hot or cold!  This would also be delicious with crumbled goat cheese or feta. Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kale, Leek & Potato Pizza for St Patrick's Day

The smell of leeks cooking in butter has filled the house with deliciousness! My St Patrick's Day dish this year is a pizza with leeks, baby greens, very thinly sliced potato, and Dubliner Irish Cheddar. And, of course, I used Kerrygold butter for the leeks.

("Not really a pizza", my daughter says, "because there's no tomato sauce.")

The end result was surprising light on the stomach, but hearty in flavor.  I thought it was a wonderful way to eat your greens.

Here's the easy recipe:

Kale, Leek & Potato Pizza

3-4 small potatoes, sliced as thin as possible
1 leek, trimmed and cleaned and thinly sliced in rounds
Kerrygold Irish butter
olive oil
salt & pepper
5oz bag of baby greens
1 ball Trader Joe's pizza dough
Dubliner Irish Cheddar

Heat the oven to 425. Toss your thin potato slices in a little olive oil with salt. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until just tender.

Melt some butter in a frying pan and cook your sliced leeks over medium -low until soft and starting to brown.

Remove the leeks to a small bowl and add a little olive oil.  Add your greens to the pan and toss so all the greens are very lightly coated.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, add a little water and salt, and cover.  Cook 1 more minute or until greens are cooked through.  When they are cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and chop finely.

I used one Trader Joe's pizza dough and made two pizzas, so the pizza crust was as thin as I could get it. You need a thin crust if you're going to put potatoes on your pizza, I think. Topped the crust with grated Dubliner Irish Cheddar. Sprinkle the finely chopped greens over the pizza, top with the leeks and a little more grated cheese. Place the thin slices of potato all over the pizza and top with another sprinkle of grated cheddar. Brush the edges of the dough with olive oil.

Bake at 425 on a pizza stone until the edges of the dough are browning (about 10 minutes).  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before slicing. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day!