Smoky Asparagus Quiche {Vegetarian Quiche Recipe}

Smoky Asparagus Quiche! This vegetarian quiche recipe is made with softened leeks, smoked cheese, and a wholegrain spelt crust. Perfect for a springtime brunch, and leftovers are great for packed lunches.

A slice of asparagus quiche on a white plate with a whole quiche in the background

There are a few things that I’m really stubborn about eating only when they’re in season locally. Strawberries, for example, I almost never buy unless I can find them at the local fruit stand. Asparagus is another.

Asparagus is such a welcome beacon of spring, it’s always seemed to be cheating they system to buy the imported stuff. This is silly, really, since first of all, local asparagus has such a fleeting and fickle season, if you blinked at the wrong moment you might miss it. Also, I buy bananas from Ecuador, grapes from Chile, and avocados from Peru. So what’s the big deal with a bundle of asparagus from Italy, a mere handful of countries away?

It’s just one of those things, I guess, I feel like asparagus doesn’t really count if it’s imported. Am I crazy?! (<– the answer is obviously yes, but do me a solid and just don’t tell me)

eggs, cheese, asparagus, and leeks on a grey background

Earlier this week, though, I admitted defeat. I took a hard look at the field of ice we have to navigate across to get our boy to daycare, a painful look at the longterm forecast of more snow and sub zero temperatures, and came the conclusion that I clearly have to make my own spring this year.

So, Italian asparagus was purchased, along with a sturdy looking leek form Holland, some German smoked cheese, eggs from Sweden, and a batch of whole grain spelt pastry was dug out of the bottom drawer of my freezer, and a vegetarian quiche recipe was born: Smoky Asparagus Quiche, no less.

whole grain spelt pastry crust pressed into a pie plate and pricked with a fork

This Smoky Asparagus Quiche is, I believe, the first quiche to have graced the pages of this blog in nearly eight years of cooking together. Better late than never right? And it’s a dandy of a vegetarian quiche recipe if I do say so myself.

Asparagus and leeks are a classic springtime combination (<– that’s a thing, right? or did I just make that up?) and I think they go together beautifully in this quiche. So many quiche recipes use bacon or ham, but to keep things vegetarian I sought out some smoked cheese.

I used smoked gouda, but I’m willing to bet that smoked cheddar would also work well, and I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that smoked mozzarella would probably be fine in this vegetarian quiche recipe. If anyone tries these out, please let us know in the comments!

Pan fried asparagus and leeks in a non-stick frying pan

Hey Nutrition Lady, making my own pastry freaks me the eff out!

Okay, no problem. First of all, don’t let pastry intimidate you. This pastry, in particular, is super rustic, so if it tears while you’re rolling it out, or if it seems too crumbly or not crumbly enough or whatever else, just take a deep breath and press it into the pan. It’s all going to get covered up with egg and cheese and asparagus anyways.

Also! You can totally just buy a frozen pie crust, press it into your own tart pan, and no one will no the difference. Promise.

Overhead shot of a baked quiche on a wire rack

Should we talk about asparagus pee?

Yes, we should.

Here’s the deal: asparagus has been long notorious for making your pee smell funny after you eat it. I’ve read that from 25-50% of people note a strong asparagus smell in their urine as early as 15 minutes post consumption. Here’s a fun fact you can impress your friends with: asparagus actually makes EVERYONE’S pee smell funny, but not everyone is able to detect the smell. Only about 25% of people have the “asparagus smelling gene” switched on. Neat, eh?

The smell is due to volatile (airborne) compounds that are released during digestion when asparagus’s sulphurous amino acids are broken down, and doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you, or the asparagus. It’s just one of those things.

Asparagus  is a great source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin B1, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B2, and B3, and contains a good amount of phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, vitamin E, and manganese. All that goodness? Who cares if it makes your pee smell funny!

A slice of quiche on a white plate with a fork, a glass of water, full quiche, and server in the background

Other brunch recipes you might enjoy:

Roasted Vegetable Frittata
Vegetarian Frittata with Corn and Tomatoes
Asparagus and Gruyere Strata 
Egg in a Squash Hole
Super Simple Chia Pudding
Spinach and Ricotta Egg Bake

A slice of quiche on a white plate with a pan of quiche in the background
5 from 3 votes
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Smoky Asparagus Quiche

Smoky Asparagus Quiche! Made with softened leeks, smoked cheese, and a wholegrain spelt crust, this quiche is perfect for a springtime brunch.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword quiche
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 536 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

For the Spelt Pie Pastry

  • 3/4 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed 1 stick / 113 grams
  • 3-4 Tablespoons ice water

For the Smoky Asparagus Quiche

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces asparagus trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces smoked cheese, grated eg smoked gouda or smoked cheddar
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

To make the pastry

  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flours, salt, and butter.

  2. Pulse a few times until the butter is roughly the size of peas.

  3. With the food processor running, add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the pastry begins to come together. It should still be a bit crumbly, but when you squeeze it in your hand it should hold together. 

  4. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to form it into a smooth disc. Wrap with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. You can also make this a day or two ahead and keep the dough refrigerated, or it can be frozen for up to 3 months. 

  5. When you're ready, preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.

  6. Roll out the pastry to about 1/4 inch thick (I err on the side of a bit thinner) and gentry lift into a 10-inch tart pan. Press the pastry into the pan, trim the edges, and prick the bottom with a fork. 

  7. Line the bottom of the tart pan with parchment paper and fill it with rice or dried beans or pie weights if you have those. 

  8. Place it into the preheated oven, and bake for 15 minutes.

  9. Remove the tart shell from the oven, remove the parchment and weights, and return to bake for another 10 minutes until lightly golden. 

  10. Remove the tart pastry from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the quiche ingredients.

To make the Smoky Asparagus Quiche

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F / 180°C.  Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. 

  2. Add the leeks, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they have just begin to soften. 

  3. Add the asparagus, and sauté about 5 minutes more. The asparagus should be bright green and still crisp. It will continue to cook in the quiche, so we don't want to over cook it here. 

  4. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool slightly.

  5. In a large bowl whisk the eggs together with the heavy cream and milk. 

  6. Add 3/4 of the cheese to the eggs, reserving some to scatter over the top.

  7. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. 

  8. Add the asparagus and leeks to the cooled tart crust and spread into an even layer. 

  9. Pour the egg mixture over top of the asparagus. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

  10. Carefully place the quiche into the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes until puffed and golden and set in the middle. It should have only a little bit of jiggle left. 

  11. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Recipe Notes

  • Pastry freezes really well, so make a double batch and you'll have another pie crust for a rainy day!
  • Quiche is great served warm, cold, or at room temperature. 
Nutrition Facts
Smoky Asparagus Quiche
Amount Per Serving
Calories 536 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 20g100%
Cholesterol 341mg114%
Sodium 472mg20%
Potassium 276mg8%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 1580IU32%
Vitamin C 2.1mg3%
Calcium 244mg24%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


 

Comments

  1. Sandra Lea says

    Perfect, I’m going to make this for myself for Easter dinner. I’m the only vegetarian and I always end up centering the meal around the carnivores and this year decided to make sure I made something that would make me happy too. This is it, and I bet those meat eaters will enjoy it too.

    • Katie Trant says

      Yes! Make your self happy! Plus I think the smoky flavour is really great and definitely appeals to all. And the great thing about quiche is you can make it in advance and serve it cold or at room temperature and it’ll be perfect ????

  2. Camilla says

    Love quiche, and the whole grain crust always makes me happy. I’ve used a touch of Amaranth in my whole grain crust before and it gives it such a nice grassy flavour

  3. Katie Soukup says

    I made this quiche tonight and my husband and I loved it. We liked the hearty crust for a savory meal. The smoked Gouda was flavorful, but not over powering. The veggies were tasty and the asparagus still had crunch.

    I make a lot of pie crusts but had never made one with spelt flour. I wanted to try it because of the nutrition value. I was worried when I mixed it. It seemed too dry. After putting it in the fridge for a couple of hours I didn’t even think it would roll out, but it did and it was really good! My husband really liked it.

    The quiche took longer to cook than 35 minutes, but that’s the way ovens are. I took it out when it was still jiggling a little and let it rest for 10 minutes.

    I will make this again in a heart beat. Perfect vegetarian meal or a Friday night meal during lent!

    • Katie Trant says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this quiche, Katie! And I’m glad the crust worked out for you. Whole grain pastry is one of those things that you’ve got to trust will work out, and in most cases it does! Do you recall approximately how long it took to bake in your oven? It will of course vary from oven to oven (I think mine’s on the fast side) and depending on the size of your tart pan.

      • Katie Soukup says

        It took about 45 minutes and we then let it rest for 10 minutes. It was perfectly cooked. Our oven is notorious for taking longer. It was a 10 inch glass pie plate.

        • Katie Soukup says

          It took about 45 minutes and we then let it rest for 10 minutes. It was perfectly cooked. Our oven is notorious for taking longer. It was a 10 inch glass pie plate.

          Also, we had it the next morning for breakfast (I served it with bacon) AND I had it for lunch the next day. It was still quite tasty at both meals!

  4. Heidi says

    Made this last weekend. There was too much filling for my pie pan, but other than that, great recipe! The smoked cheese really adds a nice flavor. I added cherry tomatoes and used an onion instead of leeks.

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