Eating outdoors is something we look forward to all year. Nothing is more relaxing than laying in the shade under the sweeping branches of a weeping willow while reading a favorite book. We dip into our basket when lunchtime arrives and dig into our quiche that is made with spring asparagus, baby artichokes, spring onions and smoked trout. We eat our quiche with a side of pickled radishes that give a tangy crunch to our lunch. A squeeze of lime and drizzle of honey over a mesclun salad keeps things simple.
Call up your friends, pack up your picnic basket and head outside to the closest grassy lawn. It's one of the best ways to enjoy a beautiful spring afternoon. Check out some of the pretty graniteware dishes and bowls we used here.
Photography & Styling: Diana Yen
Styling Assistant: Kali Solack
• For the Quiche Pastry:
2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 sticks unsalted chilled butter
4 tablespoons ice water
• For the Filling:
5 stalks asparagus, chopped into ½ inch pieces
3 spring onions, sliced
2 baby artichokes, peeled, trimmed, and thinly shaved
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup smoked trout, flaked
2 tablespoons chopped chives
• For the Custard:
1 cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 medium eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
2½ tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
• For the topping:
Edible flowers to garnish (optional)
• To make Pastry:
Add flour and salt to the bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix. Place the chilled butter, cut into small pieces, in the food processor and pulse until the butter is incorporated into the flour. The mixture should take on a crumb-like texture, like that of coarse cornmeal. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until a ball begins to form. Turn the pastry out onto a floured work surface and roll into a flattened disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll out dough onto a well-floured surface and carefully press into an 8 ½ inch spring pan and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375° and bake crust for 25 minutes or until edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow crust to cool for 10 minutes.
• To make the filling and custard:
Chop asparagus into ½ inch pieces and slice spring onions. Peel outside leaves off of the baby artichokes and trim tops to remove prickly tips of leaves. In a large pan, sauté all vegetables in two tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes or until they are just about tender. Once they are finished cooking, remove from heat, add smoked trout to mixture and let cool for 5 minutes.
Quick Pickled Radishes
Makes 1 pint
1 bunch breakfast radishes, cleaned and green leaves removed
1 inch long ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon crushed chili pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup white wine or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
Cut breakfast radishes in half, lengthwise. Fill a pint jar with radishes, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, chili pepper, salt, vinegar and lime juice. Cover jar and shake to mix. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
While the vegetables are cooking, place, milk, eggs, cream, salt and pepper into a large bowl and beat well with a whisk. Add chives and mix with spoon.
Once the pastry shell has cooled, spoon sautéed vegetables into the bottom of the shell. Pour the custard filling over the vegetables until they are just covered. Return spring pan to oven and continue baking for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Remove from oven and let cool. Garnish with edible flowers and serve warm or at room temperature.