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Baked Vegetable Custard

Vegetable CustardYears ago I bought a book to hold all my scraps of paper that I scribbled recipes on or ones I cut from magazines and newspapers.  I remember, after the last recipe was glued down, how triumphant it felt to see my collection in one place.   The other day I went through one I started back in 2005.  I had forgotten these recipes.  The baked vegetable custard is one I made once before, most probably in 2005, and it’s a pity I forgot about it as it’s darn delicious and relatively easy to make.  As much as I like to view recipes online, I still enjoy the tactile nature of paper. For many, the word custard conjures up something sweet but not all custards are sweet.  Think of quiche and you have a savory custard tart or timbale.  These custards are elegant appetizers and are a shoe-in at your next dinner party.  Prepare them ahead of time and bake just before your friends arrive.

Serves 6
10 oz. baby spinach, washed
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups cooked (al dente) broccoli florets, chopped
1 small onion, minced
1/3 cup pancetta, diced
2 small zucchini, sliced
6 slices country bread
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or purchased)

Preheat oven to 400f.

Cook the spinach over medium heat with the garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil – just until the spinach softens.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Sauté onion and pancetta in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add zucchini and after 2 minutes add spinach. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Remove cover, toss in broccoli florets and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat. Soak bread in milk, squeeze dry and tear into small pieces. In a bowl, mix the bread, egg, sautéed vegetables and Parmesan. Stir until combined. Distribute the mixture between 6 buttered ramekins (or similar sized oven-proof containers) place in a baking dish filled halfway with warm water. Bake 50 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the custard and invert onto a plate with a pool of hot tomato sauce.

custardThe Culinary Chase’s Note: Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve on a pool of hot tomato sauce or on a bed of mixed greens.  Enjoy!

Baked Vegetable Custard
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These custards are elegant appetizers and are a shoe-in at your next dinner party. Prepare them ahead of time and bake just before your friends arrive.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 10 oz. baby spinach, washed
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked (al dente) broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ⅓ cup pancetta, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 6 slices country bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or purchased)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400f.
  2. Cook the spinach over medium heat with the garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil – just until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauté onion and pancetta in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add zucchini and after 2 minutes add spinach. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Remove cover, toss in broccoli florets and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat.
  3. Soak bread in milk, squeeze dry and tear into small pieces. In a bowl, mix the bread, egg, sautéed vegetables and Parmesan. Stir until combined.
  4. Distribute the mixture between 6 buttered ramekins (or similar sized oven-proof containers) place in a baking dish filled halfway with warm water. Bake 50 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the custard and invert onto a plate with a pool of hot tomato sauce.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve on a pool of hot tomato sauce or on a bed of mixed greens. Enjoy!

 

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