Asparagus Quiche

Serves 6-8. This recipe was in my recipe box, but I don’t know which magazine it was clipped from.

1½ pounds fresh asparagus

Water and salt for steaming asparagus

5-6 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

About 8 ounces (½ pound) Swiss, Gruyere or a mix of cheddar and Swiss cheeses, grated

4 eggs

1½ cups half-&-half or evaporated milk

Pinch of nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste

Dash of cayenne and black pepper

1 rolled-out pie crust for 9-inch pie, unbaked

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Rinse and drain asparagus. Snip off the tough white portion. Save 10 slender, pretty spears for decorating the top of the quiche. Set those aside and cut the remaining asparagus in 1-inch pieces.

3. Cook the asparagus (whole spears and cut pieces), in 1 quart of salted, boiling water to desired tenderness. Just taste a piece after it’s boiled a few minutes and decide how cooked you like it. Drain and spread out on a plate so it will cool quickly.

4. Line a 9-inch pie pan with pie crust. Flute the edges if possible. (My pie pan was a little larger, so I had to leave the edges plain).

5. Sprinkle bottom of pie shell with crumbled bacon, then the grated cheese and the cut-up asparagus.

6. In separate medium bowl, beat eggs with cream, nutmeg, salt and peppers to taste. When well blended, pour the egg and cream mixture into the pie shell. 7. Decorate the top with the reserved whole spears in a spoke pattern.

8. Bake for 40 minutes or until puffy and golden.

9. The quiche has to cool somewhat before cutting it so that it will hold together, but do serve warm.