recipe: fava bean and tarragon quiche

Of all the foodstuffs I learned to love in Paris, few have infiltrated my own cooking repertoire quite like the quiche. Or I should say, the "tart," as despite the more technical definition (quiche = savory, tart = sweet), French people often use the term tarte for any dish with a crust.

One particular tarte that sparked my passion for these one dish wonders was a super-seasonal fava bean and tarragon version at Tartes Kluger in Paris. I'm not sure if it was the first time I tried favas, but it certainly is the first that I can remember. I can vividly conjure the distinct aroma of butter and tarragon, and the almost impossible creaminess of the favas juxtaposed with the flakiness of the tart shell. So when I found myself with a bounty of favas this past week, I knew just what to do.

My favorite recent experiments with quiche have all used "alternative grain" crusts, so this time I opted for an all-butter crust featuring the mildly nutty flavor of millet. After a quick blind bake, the rest of the process is a total breeze—that is, if you have already pre-shelled the favas, which I gladly did while enjoying the Dan Barber episode of Chef's Table on Netflix. (I digress, but the whole series should be on your must-watch list.) Anyway, onto the recipe!

Fava Bean and Tarragon Quiche

Gluten-Free Millet Crust**

  • 1.5-2 cups millet flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 2-3 oz butter
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • pinch salt

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Place butter in glass tart dish and slide into the oven. Once the butter is melted, carefully remove tart dish from oven and place on a towel on your kitchen counter. Add water and salt to butter. Shake out 1-1.5 cups of millet flour into tart dish and mix everything together with a fork. The texture should come together slightly wet and moldable. Add more millet gradually and mix with your fingers until still moldable, but just on the edge of crumbly. At that point, press the crust into the shell (it doesn't really matter if it goes all the way up the sides - just make sure you get the bottom fully covered). Dock the crust with a fork and slide into the oven to blind bake. Remove after about 10 minutes, when crust seems a touch drier/more golden in color. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before adding filling.

Fava and Tarragon Filling

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used hemp milk, but any milk will work)
  • 1.5 cups favas, shelled and thick white skin removed
  • 2 sprigs tarragon, stemmed
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp white pepper and coarse sea salt

Instructions: Crack eggs. Beat with hemp milk, white pepper and salt. Arrange shelled favas and tarragon sprigs in cooled tart shell. Pour egg mixture into tart shell, and agitate favas around a bit with fork to evenly distribute. Place into the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes on 350 F, or until egg has fully set. Serve warm to just above room temperature.

**My freestyle crust technique is entirely inspired by my Parisian home cooking mentor, Paule Caillat. If you want her official (i.e. measured out) recipe, David Lebovitz breaks it down step by step.