Dark Tort: Diane Mott Davidson’s Asparagus Quiche

August 16, 2007 · 4 comments · Print This Post

in Book Reviews, Dinner, Eggs, Pies / Tarts

About a million years ago, ok I’m exaggerating, but way back in 1992 my mother and I started reading a series of culinary mysteries written by Diane Mott Davidson and we’ve both been huge fans ever since.

Each book takes place in the fictional Denver town of Aspen Meadow where Goldy’s catering of events for the upper class denizens of the city always coincides with a shocking side of murder. Goldy than sleuths her way through clues and bizarre interactions with suspects, while simultaneously making us drool with hunger over each new recipe concocted in her state of the art kitchen. After-all, the catering business doesn’t stop just because some poor soul got bumped off in the first chapter. The original recipes used to be dispersed throughout the book as they were introduced as part of the story, but in the last few novels they’ve been compiled all together in a section at the end.

Hi-Tech & Low-TechExcitingly enough, Diane’s new Goldy Mystery, Sweet Revenge, will be released on August 21. According to the publisher’s website, “Goldy Schulz is thrilled to be catering a holiday breakfast feast for the staff of the Aspen Meadow Library. But little does she know that on the menu, alongside the Great Expectations Grapefruit, Chuzzlewit Cheese Pie, and Bleak House Bars, is a large helping of murder.”

This description cracks me up, and is really just too tempting to pass on since I’ll actually be starting my Master in Library and Information Science in just three weeks. Plus, who doesn’t love themed food?! In addition, if you have an iPhone you can read a specially formatted excerpt of Sweet Revenge at the HarperCollins website.

In anticipation of my next book purchase I decided to make the crustless Asparagus Quiche (alas no quirky name) from Davidson’s most recent novel, Dark Tort.

Steam & Layer
Steam & Layer
Top With Cheese & Eggs
Top With Cheese & Eggs
Bake Until Set
Bake Until Set
Enjoy Your Own Culinary Mystery
Enjoy Your Own Culinary Mystery

Asparagus Quiche (As Previously Published in Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson)

8 ounces asparagus, washed, trimmed of all hard, tough stalks, and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, if desired)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup grated Gruyére cheese
1/4 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.

Using a small sauté pan that has a cover, heat about half a cup of water just to boiling. Pour in the sliced asparagus, cover, and turn off the heat. Allow the asparagus to steam, with the heat turned off, while you prepare the other ingredients.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until they are very well blended. Blend in the cream, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika until well combined. Using a heavy wooden spoon, stir in the cheese, stirring until they are well combined.

Drain the asparagus (it should still be bright green, with a tender, slightly crunchy texture). Put it into the bottom of the prepared dish. Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus. And place the quiche into the oven.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the quiche has puffed and browned, and is set in the center. Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joan Vogan September 4, 2007 at 12:03 pm

I love your blog, and I think we share some of the same tastes.

Have you looked at the recipes in “Sweet Revenge”? The first one, Chicken Divine, calls for a full 1/4 cup of dried tarragon, sprinkled over just 4 to 5 chicken breasts! I love tarragon, but surely this must be a mistake. I went to a book signing and met DMD, but sadly had not looked at the recipe, so did not know to ask her about it. I’m going to try it, but will probably start with 1/4 teaspoon or perhaps 4 teaspoons. What’s your opinion?

Joan Vogan


2 Erin September 4, 2007 at 7:47 pm

Hi Joan,

Hmm…that’s a tricky one. 1/4 cup of a dried spice does seem like an awful lot though. If it was fresh tarragon I’d definitely use that amount, but too much of a dried spice can definitely ruin a dish. Spices are so subjective though. You should probably follow your gut and start with a few teaspoons and see if you like the flavor. You can always add more 🙂

Please let me know how it turns out.


3 Paul Savino December 27, 2008 at 5:20 am

great expectations grapefruit??

I cannot find this recipe in ‘sweet revenge’, and most of my collection of Diane’s books are in packing crates 3000 miles away (I am relocating) Do you have this recipe?

Paul Savino, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry


4 Jean Siecke March 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Thanks so much for providing the Asparagus Quiche recipe. I listened to the ‘Dark Tort’ CD, and didn’t have time or opportunity to write down the recipe, and the book is checked out at my library.

One note: Aspen Meadow is a fictional COLORADO town, not a “Denver town.” Lots of us Coloradans believe Aspen Meadow is patterned after Evergreen, especially since this is where Diane lives.

Thanks again for the recipe. Keep up the good work.


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