Asparagus Quiche, Pear & Fennel Salad, Orange Poppy Seed Scones and Orange-Ginger Spritzer
Asparagus Spring Onion Quiche
Pear & Fennel Salad with Orange Ginger Dressing
Orange Poppy Seed Scones
Orange Ginger Spritzer
Spring in North Carolina is beautiful with blooming flowers, bushes, and trees all with a backdrop of dark green pines, and pale green color from oak and maple trees. One thing I anticipate each spring comes from our vegetable garden. Asparagus! These green beauties emerge in early spring when the temperature gets warm and just keep coming until the days turn hot. Our asparagus bed is about eight years old and produces about a pound a day. Each year I get a little more creative in ways to eat them. Green onions and many herbs also appear from last years seeds or just come alive out of dormancy. A quick stroll through the garden on most days usually dictates what's for lunch.
This spring brunch menu is perfect for a ladies get together. You'll find each dish compliments the other and the orange spritzer tops it off perfectly.
Ladies it's lunchtime!
This simple quiche goes together quick. Pre-bake a pie crust in a Thomas Pottery 10" Pie Plate for 15 minutes. You can keep the pie crust flat by lining the inside with parchment paper and adding Pie Weights. While this bakes, sauté the vegetables in an 8" Cast Iron Skillet. Shred the cheese with a Box Grater on a piece of wax paper. Mix your eggs and milk in an 8 cup Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup. All the quiche ingredients can be prepared in advance and held in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. I love my Herb Scissors and use them often. One quiche provides a nice size slice for four servings. The extra step of pre-baking the crust makes all the difference in the finished taste.
While the quiche is baking in the oven assemble the scones. Using a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients. Measure the buttermilk in a Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup, add orange juice, whisk in egg yolk. Once you have the butter incorporated in the dry ingredients, use a spoon to stir in the wet ingredients until moist. Turn dough out onto a piece of wax paper sprinkled with flour. Using your hands flatten out the dough to 1 " thick, cut using Fluted Edge Biscuit Cutters. Place scones in Thomas Pottery Straight Sided Bakeware baker. Bake in the center of the oven 15 minutes at 350. Stay close by because these bake fast. Serve with butter.
Next, prepare the salad ingredients. This combination of orange dressing and pear salad is bright and flavorful. Start by washing the lettuce using a Zeifheit Salad Spinner. Place lettuce in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad on plates. Fennel can look intimidating, and if you haven't ever tried raw fennel you should, I absolutely love the mild anise or licorice flavor. You can also substitute the fennel with celery or jicama. The large white bulb is the part of the fennel you will be using. Hold the green tops to peel away any discolored portions from the bulb section using a vegetable peeler. Holding the green tops again as a handle, slice the bulb in 1/4" slices with the Cuisinart Mandoline Slicer until you reach the greenish parts. Wash these slices under cold water, drain, hold with lettuce. Make sure you zest the oranges before squeezing or slicing for the salad, dressing, and spritzer. The extra zest can be frozen or left to dry on a piece of wax paper to use later. Make sure to peel the pears if the peelings are too tough to eat. You may want to wait to do this closer to serving time; otherwise, the pears will turn brown.
Mix the dressing using a glass Pyrex measuring cup, mix well and serve in a Thomas Pottery Tri-Foot Sauce Boat with Ladle
Serve this lunch on Thomas Pottery Dinnerware - Square Plates. These plates are available in three sizes 6", 9" and 11". The large 11" plate is a nice charger to separate a meal using smaller plates to serve an appetizer or salad before the main course. The small plate is perfect for a small salad as shown above, for bread or a dessert. Here I am using the large plate to serve everything at once.
An orange spritzer or mimosa is perfect served with this ladies brunch. Enjoy this light affair in the outdoors and take in some fresh air and sunshine.
Thomas Pottery On-Line Store
Tri-Foot Sauce Boat with Ladle
Bakeware - 10" Pie Pan, Low Baking Dishes and Straight-sided Bakers
Dinnerware - Square Plates - Large, Medium and Small
8" Cast Iron Skillet
Zeifheit Salad Spinner
Fluted Edge Biscuit Cutters
Cuisinart Mandoline Slicer
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch spring onion
2 bibb lettuce
1 or 2 fennel bulbs
1 bag small oranges
4 small pears
1 - 4"knob ginger
optional: dill, parsley, nutmeg
1 - 8 oz.block swiss cheese
1 stick butter
1/2 c. buttermilk
all purpose flour
grape seed oil
white balsamic or rice vinegar
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