Asparagus, anchovy, lemon and caper quiche – and a book giveaway

by Jeanne on August 31, 2011

in Baking (savoury), Recipes - eggs, Recipes - fish, Recipes - vegetarian

Post image for Asparagus, anchovy, lemon and caper quiche – and a book giveaway


UPDATE ON 9 SEPT:  The winner of the book giveaway is @enigmeg!  Thanks to all who entered.

Some people are way better than others at simply going with the flow. These are the people who refuse to lie awake at night worrying what the global financial crisis is doing to their pension funds and simply assume that something will sort itself out when the day comes. These are the people who decide they have always wanted to live in Paris and then one day pack their bags and arrive there, suitcase in hand, with no job and no house but a lot of optimism. These are the people who do a 6 week road trip across America and do not book a single hotel in advance, preferring to sleep wherever they happen to end up at the end of each day.

I am not one of those people.

The very idea of all that uncertainty makes me break out in hives. I plan pretty much everything down to the last letter because… ummm… I am a mild control freak? Probably. And when a friend asked me to be her official photographer at her wedding last weekend, I set about the project as thoroughly as I would any other planning exercise. I looked at hundreds of wedding photos on the internet to get inspiration and ideas. I researched and bought the right flash and the right tripod for the job. I had my second camera serviced so that it was ready as a backup. I asked my husband to be my second shooter, taking pics of the groom and groomsmen getting ready, and the church before arrived with the bride. I travelled to Lincolnshire in June for a test shoot, trying out all sorts of locations in the gardens around the venue, making sure the light was good, and trying out angles for the creative shoot. I was ready.



But as Robert Burns wrote, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. You’d think that if you planned a wedding for the Summer Bank Holiday weekend in August, you could be reasonably certain of good weather, wouldn’t you? Hah. The day of the wedding dawned not only grey but also wet. Very wet. My husband was commandeered early on in the day to fetch and carry things, so was never around to hold an umbrella over me and my increasingly wet camera. The registrar told me approximately 5 minutes before the wedding that no flash photography was allowed during the ceremony (in a very dark venue). It was too wet to go outside so we could not use a single shot we had planned in the creative shoot. All the group shots which were due to have been taken in lovely dappled light outside had to be relocated to a dark room in the castle – the same room in fact where the other 115 noisy guests were having their drinks reception, wandering into my shots, and stealing the chair that I was standing on. It was like a trailer for a movie “When Planning Goes Bad”! But will it curb my addiction to planning? Never :)

(In case you are wondering, depite the odds I did manage to get some great shots of the day – a few of them will appear in Saturday Snapshots this week if you are curious!)

Vanessa Kimbell is another inveterate planner. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of her recently published book Prepped, billed as a new, time-saving, inspirational and delicious way of cooking. Vanessa starts with a selection of flavours (lemon, cardamom, lavender, elderflower, chocolate etc.) and then creates basic recipes around them. The clever part is that each recipe is the foundation of two finished dishes: a chocolate ganache becomes truffles or gelato; or double up on a fruit cobbler topping and make scones. The idea is that by linking your recipes and planning ahead you can produce delicious food in less time; and that by layering a selection of signature flavours you can transform your everyday cooking into something special.

The asparagus, anchovy, lemon and caper quiche recipe I am posting today is one of three of hers using similar ingredients (the other two are a lemony asparagus couscous salad; and a grilled asparagus pannini). It’s not for the faint-hearted as the flavours are deliciously bold and fresh. I love sweet, green asparagus and in this recipe they really shine, paired with the contrasting salty anchovies and capers. And don’t stint on the lemon zest as it adds a wonderful lift to the other flavours.



ASPARAGUS, ANCHOVY, LEMON & CAPER QUICHE (serves 4 as a starter)


1 pack ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
1 large bunch of asparagus (young, thin spears are best)
50g tin of anchovies in olive oil
2Tbsp capers
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
40g fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
3 large eggs
140ml milk or cream


Preheat the oven to 220C (425F). Roll out the pastry and press into a greased/non-stick ovenproof quiche dish or springform pan about 25cm in diameter. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 7 minutes, or until puffy and golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C (350F).

Allow the crust to cool for a moment, then scatter the chopped asparagus, anchovies, capers, Parmesan and lemon zest over the pastry crust, reserving a little of the cheese and zest for the top. Whisk together the milk/cream and eggs in a bowl and pour into the crust. Top with the reserved cheese and lemon zest and bake for 25– 30 minutes until the filling is puffy and golden. Serve with salad and a dry rosé wine.


I have a copy of Vanessa Kimbell’s Prepped to give away. If you would like a chance to win it, there are a number of ways that you can enter yourself into the draw – and you can enter in all four way described below to increase your chances!

  • Subscribe to the CookSister e-mail Newsletter using this link and leave me a comment here saying you’ve done so.
  • Tweet the following text - and then leave a second comment here saying you’ve done so and including your Twitter ID:

Want to win a copy of @VanessaKimbell’s book Prepped? @cooksisterblog Please RT!

  • Follow CookSister on Networked Blogs on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you have done so.
  • Follow @cooksisterblog on Twitter and leave me a comment here to say you have done so (or just leave a comment telling me you are already following @cooksisterblog on Twitter!), and include your Twitter ID.


  • A separate comment must be left for each method of entry in order for them to be counted as multiple entries into the prize draw.
  • The prize can only be shipped to an address in the UK, Europe, US or South Africa
  • The deadline for entries is MIDNIGHT YOUR TIME ON THURSDAY 8 SEPTEMBER


And while you are here… please don’t forget to send me your favourite braai or BBQ recipes by 23 September for Braai the Beloved Country, my annual event celebrating summery outdoor cooking. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the post for the rules!


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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa August 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

What an amazing quiche! Those are delightful flavors.
A pity the prize can’t be shipped to continental europe…


ninatimm August 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Love the colors of that quiche and I think biting into a caper now an dthen could be divine!!


ninatimm August 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Hi Jeanne, I have done the Twitter mention!


Rosa August 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I’ve suscribe via e-mail.


Rosa August 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Mentioned the giveaway on Twitter too. :-)))!/rosasyummyyums


Pat R September 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

I follow you by email


Pat R September 1, 2011 at 12:24 am

I follow you on FB


Sous Chef September 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

I have subcribed via email


Maddy September 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

I’ve suscribe via e-mail.


Alison Theron September 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

I have subscribed via email. I love your blog, loads of fresh ideas, thank you!


Dorothea September 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

I’m a subscriber via email. And I can’t wait to make Vanessa’s Quiche – I love recipes that emphasize bold and fresh flavors. I also checked out her book – the reviews are 5-star and the cover is just gorgeous! Thanks for a great giveaway!


meeta September 1, 2011 at 10:41 am

I follow you everywhere you go sweetness ;o) HAHA! I can picture you at the wedding – I think a wedding planner was needed here!
The quiche looks great with really unique and bold flavors! Love it!


Candice September 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I’ve just done the twitter mention :) @GorgeousBlog


Candice September 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I’ve just subscribed to your newsletter!


Simone September 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm

O, o… sounds like you did not have the easiest wedding to begin with! Wow… I was already hoping that the weather on your side of the ocean was better then on ours but apparently it was worse. I’ve been really lucky so far this year (knock on wood) that all my weddings were miraculously on sunny days so no complaining here. Again tomorrow it seems to be a good day… Only a few more to go this year so I hope it keeps up.. (actually a good reason for people to hire me; I have a really good weather vibe with me..) lol..
Dying to see some of the shots you took!
O and love that quiche ofcourse.. :)


Fiona September 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

i have subscribed to your email newsletter


Fiona September 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

and retweeted your tweet @whiteshutters


Fiona September 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

and I would so love a copy of Prepped, please….I already follow you on twitter so entry number 3 please @whiteshutters


Sam September 2, 2011 at 10:11 am

I love the sound of this quiche and a big fan of all these flavours. Yum!


Enigmeg September 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

Tweeted the comp on Twitter as @Enigmeg – and got several re-tweets!


Enigmeg September 2, 2011 at 11:41 am

Also just signed up for your newsletter – looking forward to the culinary inspiration :)


Enigmeg September 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hope I’m well on my way to winning that book – because of course I already follow you on Twitter, as @enigmeg – that’s where I found out bout the comp ;)


Enigmeg September 2, 2011 at 11:50 am

Annnndddd I’m following you on FB via Networked blogs. So pick me, pick me for the prize! :)


Krista September 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Can’t wait to see the wedding pics tomorrow! How fun. :-) I’m a planner too but have gotten much more loosey goosey as I’ve gotten older. :-)


Elizabeth September 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Wow, this quiche sounds wonderful. (I never knew that lemons would ever be sold waxed! Thanks for the heads-up.)


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

I’d love to check out her book, you know I follow you on twitter!


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

And I’ve tweeted the giveaway.


thetobykennedy September 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

I don’t know whether I can win this or not anymore – what a fiasco! mmmwah! xxx


Jeanne @ CookSister! September 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

@Toby – yes you can – just a typo, not a fiasco :) All better now. Just follow one of the instructions above for a chance to win.


Fiona Moore September 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Following Cooksister on both face-book and twitter.


Choclette September 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I’m following you On Twitter


Karen @ Lavender and Lovage September 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I have signed up to your email!


Karen @ Lavender and Lovage September 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I have tweeted this text!!
Want to win a copy of @VanessaKimbell’s book Prepped? @cooksisterblog Please RT!


Karen @ Lavender and Lovage September 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I am now following you on networked blogs on FB!
Karen aka French Tart (Sorry ~ Tongue in cheek name!)


Karen @ Lavender and Lovage September 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I am following you on Twitter @KarenBurnsBooth
PS: I was born in Fishoek near Wynberg, SA.


Nic September 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Oooh, nice tart with lovely fresh flavours!
I follow you on twitter!


omltkaui September 23, 2011 at 8:07 am

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