As far as cute kitchen things go, tiny ramekins are high on my list. I especially love those classic white ramekins with their delicate fluted edges. Food just seems to look more appealing in those cute little containers.
In addition to looking cute, ramekins can also serve many purposes. They can be used for baking and serving, and even for displaying ingredients in blog photos! But despite their many uses and my fondness for them, until recently our ramekins have not gotten much use.
Instead of just continuing to stare adoringly at the ramekins in our cupboard and occasionally feature them in a photo, I decided to let them live up to their full potential. So last week I used them to bake and serve some delightful asparagus flans!
It wasn’t until a recent trip to Italy that I was exposed to the wonders of savory vegetable flans. I am still dreaming of that velvety melt-in-your mouth pumpkin flan that we had in Venice. While I fully intend to try and recreate that flan, pumpkin season has slipped away from me. Luckily there are lots of wonderful spring vegetables out there now that are good contenders to be made into flans.
These asparagus flans did not disappoint. They had a lovely bright green color and a light smooth texture. The fresh asparagus was definitely the dominant flavor of the dish, but the Gruyere cheese was also not a shy participant either. This cheese added a nice salty nutty flavor to the flans. Of course the flans also looked super cute in the little ramekins. So I recommend either dusting off your set of ramekins or going out and buying yourself a set to try out this recipe. You’ll be glad you did!
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
- 2 lbs of asparagus (roughly 1 large bunch), trimmed
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup low-fat milk
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- ¾ cup grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 500°. Spread trimmed asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast asparagus in the oven until the tips start to brown and stems turn bright green (about 10 minutes). Cool asparagus, cut of tips and reserve for garnish.
Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the asparagus with the milk. In a large bowl whisk together the asparagus puree and the eggs. Fold in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Brush small ramekins with oil and fill with the asparagus mixture. Place ramekins in a large baking pan and pour enough water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Garnish with a little toasted panko breadcrumbs and the asparagus tips.
Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:
|Recipe Report Card||Notes About Recipe Ratings|
Four Chefs (Delicious!)
|Yum! We ate quite a few in one sitting.|
Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)
|While they might look a little intimidating, these flans are pretty easy to pull together.|
Three Apples (Average Nutritional Quality)
|The flans had a nice vegetable base and were made with low-fat milk, but the Gruyere cheese added some saturated fat.|
Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)
|A real mix here…the asparagus was local, but not organic and the Gruyere was not local or organic. The milk was organic and the eggs were local, organic, and cage free.|