Shorter showers and low-flow appliances are surefire ways to conserve water. But author Florencia Ramirez says thoughtful water use begins at the grocery store. Farms that practice resourceful irrigation and alternating grazing patterns, thereby growing crops and animals with low-water diets, are major players in preserving California’s water systems.
In her new book, “Eat Less Water,” Ramirez outlines some ways home cooks and chefs can get to know the water story behind their groceries. One method centers around shopping locally at farmers markets. But at the grocery store, buying organic is a great option. Organic produce and foods adhere to strict no-spray or low-spray legislation, effectively limiting the amount of water used during their growth.
Try out Florencia Ramirez’s recipe for her customizable quiche which spotlights “green eggs.”
Green eggs, asparagus, and spinach quiche
Green refers to the color code of rainwater. Eggs produced from chickens raised on a diet of rain-fed pasture and grains are green eggs grown with natural rain. Once you find your green eggs, celebrate with the follow- ing quiche.
Consider the asparagus and spinach called for in this recipe as placeholders. I change the vegetables to reflect what is in season and what I have in my vegetable bin. I use one to two vegetables. Be creative and modify to suit your favorite flavors and your organic and seasonal bounty.
Yield: 8 servings
6–8 fresh organic asparagus stalks 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
4 organic eggs, beaten*
1 cup organic milk*
1 tablespoon organic flour
1⁄2 bunch of fresh organic spinach
1 cup shredded cheese. Use your favorite cheese or a combination.
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked organic pepper to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon organic nutmeg
Garnish with shredded organic parmesan cheese*
1 organic pie crust (For the pie crust I usually purchase an
organic whole wheat crust. When I’m ambitious I make my own. I double the recipe so I can freeze a second pie crust for another time.)
*Choose carefully when purchasing animal products. Buy from farms that are practicing a managed grazing system such as Coyote Creek Farms.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Prepare vegetables: Slice the asparagus stalk diagonally. Sauté the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spinach in the final few minutes.
Prepare and season eggs: Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add shredded cheese, flour, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, asparagus, and spinach. Incorporate together and pour into the pastry shell.
Bake: Place in the center of a cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. If not done, check the quiche at 5-minute intervals until ready.
Let cool: Let the quiche set for 5–10 minutes before serving. Shred parmesan cheese on top and serve.