1. Pick up fresh produce from the Kyneton Farmers' Market 2. Enjoy Parkland Kyneton's spring menu with a cocktail or two 3. Jen Beachey and business partner at Parkland Kyneton
There is something completely magical about the change of seasons from winter to spring in the country. Our fruit trees stand dormant, often ghostly in their form devoid of any sign of life. Through rain, hail and snow they stand strong, baring their naked limbs to the harsh winter weather.
Then, overnight the season changes and the buds and blossoms begin to appear with new promise of life and fruit for summer.
Like our orchard, our vegetable garden slowed to a screeching halt over the colder months with a few leeks and the tough winter root veg still hanging in there.
But the joys of spring is truly a wonderful time to celebrate and within a few days of sunshine our asparagus, broccoli and broad beans are bursting through the cold soil reaching out for the sunshine.
If you’re anything like me, my vegetable garden is usually a couple of months behind the farmers’ markets (who know a thing or two more than me about growing vegetables). Which is probably a good thing, because even the most patient person can quickly lose inspiration in the kitchen if it meant relying on the homegrown variety of our delicious spring vegetables.
One of my favourite spring dishes is an asparagus and feta quiche. You can’t beat a quiche for a weekend lunch or for school lunches! People often get a little intimidated when making pastry and opt for the quicker supermarket variety. Don’t! Once you’ve made this once you’ll become a pro at quick short crust pastry.
How to make Jen’s spring quiche
Making homemade pastry is a lot easier than you think. The only ‘rules’ that I have for pastry is:
- Use cold butter
- Don’t over mix it and;
- Always allow a good half an hour for it to cool in the fridge before rolling out.
So for this recipe I make the pastry first. While you’re getting the butter out of the fridge pop your oven on to 180 degrees.
- 1 cup SR flour
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup (125gm) cold butter
- Pinch salt
- Mix above ingredients in a food processor bowl until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Add 1/2 cup cold water
- Give it a few seconds until it all comes together then wrap up in baking paper and pop in the fridge
Jen’s Kyneton Farmers’ Market produce tips
Keep your eye out at the Kyneton Farmers’ Market for locally grown asparagus and free range bacon, such as tasty pork from Tooborac-based McIvor Farm Foods.
Central Victorian cheesemaker Goldfields Farmhouse make the most beautiful goats milk feta.
And don’t forget to honour the hero of the dish with ethical, pasture-raised eggs from the likes of local Kyneton family farm, Hand to Ground.
Kyneton farming family Hand to Ground.
Goldfields Farmhouse Cheese
Beyond free range bacon from McIvor Farm Foods
While your pastry is chilling out in the fridge, it’s time to make your filling. You can add anything you like to a quiche. I usually go the whole hog (pardon the pun) and make a delicious quiche with spring asparagus, feta and bacon.
- A finely diced onion
- 2 or 3 rashers of diced bacon
- 1 bunch of chopped asparagus
- 5 eggs
- Handful grated cheese
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup milk or cream
- Salt and pepper
- Saute onion and bacon until they are soft
- Steam a bunch of fresh asparagus and leave aside to cool
- In another bowl mix 5 eggs, a handful grated cheese, 1/2 cup ricotta and 1/4 cup milk or cream if you have it
- Add salt and pepper to taste
The homeward stretch…
Now your ready to roll out the pastry and add your filling.
- Leave pastry on the baking paper and roll it out to 1 cm thickness or thinner if you like
- Spray or butter the quiche dish and then line with pastry (with the baking paper on top).
- Press into the tin/plate to make sure it is sitting tight. The paper helps to press around the edges without leaving holes from your fingers in the pastry
- Put baking beads onto the paper and pop in your oven for 15 mins or until the edges are starting to look golden
- Reduce oven to 160 degrees. Remove paper and baking beads (these are never tasty and cause havoc with your digestion!)
- Chop the asparagus and add (along with bacon and onion) to the egg and cheese mixture
- Pour into pastry case and bake for 20-30 mins until it is firm
Voila! A delicious asparagus and feta quiche made with locally sourced ingredients.
End the day at Parkland Kyneton
Parkland Kyneton is a popular restaurant and bar located in the heart of historic Piper Street. It has a fabulous al fresco terrace perfect for lazy spring afternoons, tasting plates and wine overlooking St Paul’s Park.
Parkland’s cocktail menu is also feeling like a spring fling right now, with a focus on citrus, berries and seasonal flavours.
In the kitchen at Parkland their delicious new spring/summer menu showcases fresh seafood, crisp spring veg and lighter healthy options (including vegan).
Tip: The Kyneton Farmers’ Markets begin packing up at 1pm, so after you’ve filled your basket with spring asparagus and locally made feta cheese, check out the awesome retail shops along Piper Street. You’ll well and truly work up an appetite for a late lunch and cool appertif on Parkland’s terrace afterwards.
37c Piper Street Kyneton
Open: 4pm-11pm Monday & Tuesday | 12pm – 11pm Friday to Sunday
03 5422 3769
Macedon Ranges Farmers’ Markets
Did you know we have six farmers’ markets in the Macedon Ranges held on alternating weekends? Find out more about farmers’ markets you can visit in our fabulous region this spring.