Roasted Broccoli Flan
I have a mental mantra about food. Be inquisitive, be inspired, be unafraid.
I ask lots of questions, from chefs, waitstaff and cooks. What is in this? How did you cook it? Did you use a water bath?
And so it was at Bayona, in the French Quarter, New Orleans when I tasted an exquisite jewel of a broccoli flan, creamy and so fresh; complimented with a tomato vinaigrette drizzled over a herbed goat cheese crostini. This flan, unlike an Italian sformato, which is dense with ricotta, was light and sans florets. The color was vibrant green. Inspired.
On this winter’s day the rich flavor of roasted mixed vegetables was on my mind. My darling dear often asks, “What on earth, are you doing?” when I get into the creative throws of invention. “Oh, just making a broccoli side dish,” I reply.
This recipe has multiple stages, perfectly roast the chopped vegetables, stir and whisk a beautiful Béchamel sauce, blend and puree to the just right consistency and cook delicately in a gentle water bath. To complicate matters further, I decided to separate the broccoli and roasted garlic from the peppers and eggplant creating two layers of flavor and colors.
Letting it cool a bit before inverting onto a plate. While I am waiting I cut a fresh tomato, remove the seeds and whisk together a bright vinaigrette with a good olive oil and Champagne vinegar, salt and pepper. Adding one more chopped tomato as garnish before drizzling and serving with small florets of fresh broccoli or spring salad.
A little something acidic helps to contrast the rich creamy flavor don’t you think?
- Olive Oil
- 2 ½ cups roasted broccoli
- ½ cup roasted yellow and orange peppers
- ½ cup roasted carrots
- 1 cup roasted eggplant
- 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Truffle Flavored Olive Oil
- 2 ounces unsalted butter (¼ cup)
- 3 ounces all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk (I used 2% fat)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Do ahead: Roast a large batch of chopped fresh broccoli, peppers, 1 small peeled eggplant, carrots and garlic drizzled with olive oil until caramelized and fork tender.
- Cook about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool.
- Make Bechamel Sauce while vegetables are roasting.
- Boil 4 cups water for water bath, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter ramekins or spray with non-stick vegetable spray.
- Separate broccoli from other vegetables and place in food processor (or blender) with 2 cloves of roasted garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt. Puree, add a tablespoon of olive oil if too pasty. Set aside.
- Put carrots, peppers, and eggplant in food processor with 2 cloves of garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Truffle flavored oil and puree.
- Add olive oil as necessary to create a smooth consistency. Set aside.
- Beat eggs and added yolk in small bowl.
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat until foamy, sprinkle in flour and whisk together and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden.
- Slowly pour in milk and continue whisking until fully incorporated. Continue to cook and stir until mixture is thick.
- Remove from heat and let mixture cool a couple minutes before adding eggs and whisking together. Tip: Temper the eggs by adding a bit of the warm sauce to them, stirring together to increase their temperature before adding to the milk sauce.
- Add Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and stir to blend thoroughly.
- If making a two layer flan divide sauce in half (2 cups each) and puree with each vegetable mixture separately until you get a smooth creamy consistency.
- Pour equal measure of flan mixture into each ramekin, making layers, filling the dish ¾ full.
- Place ramekins in a large deep baking pan with good space around each one and add hot water to measure about half way up the sides of the flans.
- Cook uncovered for 35-45 minutes until they are golden on the top and a knife inserted come out clean.
- Remove carefully from water bath and cool on rack. May be served warm or at room temperature.
My inspiration, which I will make one day as closely as possible to match the wonderful taste from Bayona, New Orleans.
- A reader suggested we might want to learn about the health benefits of broccoli from Well-Being Secrets.