Asparagus and Red Pepper Quiche


Spring has definitely sprung, and as the days grow warmer in Madrid, it’s time to eat lighter and take advantage of nature’s bounty.  Asparagus is something that I look forward to every year, especially since my daughter absolutely loves them.  Yet I find that I seem to prepare them in the same ways, lightly sautéed either with eggs, parmesan or just a simple vinaigrette.

This year, I was going through a book that I have not opened in a long time.  My copy of Michel Roux’s “Pastry; Sweet and Savoury” has been sitting on my shelf for years.  I always leaf through it, and promise myself that I will try some of the recipes, yet I think I have only made one before.

I remember I bought the tart pan for this recipe specifically a couple of years ago, because the picture in the book struck me for its beauty.  I was a bit wary though, because the many times I had read the recipe, it seemed quite complicated.  I wasn’t wrong.  But what I didn’t realize, was how wonderful and delicious it is.  So yes, it is time-consuming, but I think if you tackle it bit by bit then it will become infinitely easier.  It isn’t hard, just laborious.

The result is a Quiche so elegant, so refined and bursting with spring flavors.  I hope you will try it too.  Oh, and the pastry is to die for.  ‘Nuff said.

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Adapted from Michel Roux’s  Pastry; Sweet and Savoury

1 recipe short crust dough (follows)

40-45 medium asparagus stalks

salt and freshly ground pepper

5 red peppers, semi-confit (recipe follows) 600g total weight before confit

1 egg

1 egg yolk

200ml whipping cream

pinch of nutmeg

6 dill sprigs

Roll out the dough to 3mm and cover the elongated tart pan.  Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 190C, poke the dough in the tart pan and cover it with parchment and pie weights (or dried beans if you don’t have pie weights).  Bake for 20 minutes.   Lower the heat to 170C, remove pie weights and parchment and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and proceed with the filling.

Trim asparagus to 10cm to fit the tart pan ( do use a ruler).  Reserve bottom stalks for soups or frittata.  Steam until just tender, about 3 minutes.  Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

Chop the already confit peppers, and set on a paper towel to drain off all the oil.  Place evenly on the baked tart pan.

In a medium bowl, mix the egg and the yolk with the cream, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Pour 3/4 of the cream mix onto the peppers.  Carefully place the asparagus, 2 by 2 horizontally facing opposite sides in your tart pan.  Spoon the rest of the cream mixture on top.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes.  Take out of the oven and place over a rack to cool for 20 minutes before unmolding.

With a spatula, lift the Quiche on to a plate.  Place the dill springs on top, and serve warm.  You can accompany it with a side salad for a perfect spring meal.


250g flour

150g cold unsalted butter, cut into small squares

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tbsp cold milk

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients.  With your fingertips, start mixing all the ingredients until it resembles wet sand.  Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to a week.  You can also freeze it for up to 3  months.


600g red peppers (if not for this recipe, you can use whatever color you want, or a mix)

600ml of olive oil

2 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 rosemary sprig

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 tsp black or white peppercorns

Roast the peppers, in the broiler or on a grill.  Char the skin all over, then place in a plastic bag for 15 minutes to cool and sweat.  Remove skin and seeds.

Heat oil in a small stock pot to 70C (very very low heat).  Add all the ingredients plus the peppers and cook for 30 minutes.  Let cool, and if not using immediately, place the oil with all the ingredients in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are going to use them.

From my kitchen to yours,


Spaghetti with Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Horseradish Cream Sauce

Why, oh why don’t I make this dish more often?  I always forget how much I love spaghetti with salmon.  And I also love whipping up a sauce with the ingredients you find in the fridge, it just feels so great when you make a delicious dish with random ingredients that are in your home.

So, yesterday I had a few friends over from lunch, and I saw the smoked salmon, these perfect little asparagus tips, and some cherry tomatoes.  As I was chop chop chopping away, I went to grab a glass of water, and I saw my horseradish.  Horseradish is really hard to find here, but I was at the Deli Shop the other day, which is this food store that has imported food from all over the world, and got me some Coleman’s Horseradish.  I have been putting this stuff on everything.  Cause I’m obsessive like that.  So, I decided to add some to the sauce to give it that flavorful kick, instead of just having a very calm cream sauce.  I thought that maybe it was going to be too overpowering, but it was the perfect addition to give the sauce a little acidity and bite.

This is a really simple meal that can be put together in about 20 minutes, tops.  And it reeks of sophistication.  So, you’ll be hailed as a fantastic host.  Here is the recipe that I used yesterday, but feel free to add or omit ingredients according to what you like or you have in your fridge!

Oh, and I also got a nifty new gadget, it’s a cheese grater, but it’s also a cup, so as you grate the cheese it falls into the cup!  I love it, it has three different hole sizes for grating!







Spaghetti with Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Horseradish Cream Sauce:

Serves 4

1lb Spaghetti

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

12 asparagus tips, 6 chopped, 6 reserve the tips and make ribbons from the base

500ml Cream

200 g Smoked salmon, chopped

2 1/2 tbsp horseradish

4 cherry tomatoes, minced

1 tsp parsley, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parmesan Cheese, grated

Boil enough water for the spaghetti

In a saucepan, add the butter and olive oil over high heat.  When the butter is melted and bubbling, add the chopped asparagus.  Reserve the ribbons for garnish.  Saute for about two minutes, until bright green but still crispy.  Add the cream and horseradish and lower the heat to med.  When the sauce has thickened, add the salmon, salt and pepper and take off heat.

When your water is boiling, add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions.  Strain, and add the cream sauce and toss until well mixed.  Top with your cherry tomatoes, parsley and asparagus ribbons.  Add parmesan cheese and eat it all up!


From my kitchen to yours,