Modern Manna recipe / Asparagus, arugula and gorgonzola quiche
A cheese-and-vegetable pastry that will make your mother swoon.
Serve with the Butter Lettuce, Avocado and Cumquat Salad or any green salad on the side.
Yields a 9” quiche
For the pastry:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1 stick cold unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
1 lb. asparagus spears, tough ends removed
3 oz. arugula
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
3-4 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola (or another blue cheese)
3 tablespoons mascarpone (or cream cheese)
1. Make the pastry: in the food processor mix together the flour, salt and nutmeg. Add the butter in cubes, and run the food processor for about 30 seconds. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until it turns into dough. Pat the dough into a smooth, round flattened disk. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry dough into a 12-inch round. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin and carefully transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently ease the pastry into the pan. Trim the pastry even with the pan rim. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Cover the dough with aluminum foil and cover the foil with dried beans as a weight. Bake the pastry for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the pastry looks dry but not brown, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven; reduce heat to 350 degrees.
5. Make the filling: Cut the asparagus into thin diagonal slices. Blanch the stalks in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Blanch the tips for 30 seconds. Drain.
6. In a food processor finely chop the arugula, transfer to a bowl. Add the whipping cream, eggs, egg yolk, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the arugula and mix.
7. Making the quiche: Arrange half of the asparagus stalks at the bottom of the quiche shell. Sprinkle the asparagus with 1-2 tablespoons of gorgonzola and small dollops of the mascarpone cheese. Cover with half of the arugula-cream mixture. Repeat with a second layer of the asparagus stalks, gorgonzola, mascarpone and arugula-cream. Nicely arrange the asparagus tips in a circle at the top.
8. Transfer the quiche to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling has just stabilized.
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