An unusual mini-bundt: asparagus and pea flan

Asparagus and pea flanLet me apologize first! I know this is my second asparagus post in a row. The truthful, not very glamorous reason is that I’m about to leave for Italy and I needed to empty my refrigerator. ;-) The first rule I learned when I started cooking is that food waste is a big no no and I try to abide by it.

However, you know me. Whatever the reason may be, I always try to go for something nice that satisfies my aesthetic sense in addition to my palate, especially when I’m handling ingredients as expensive as asparagus. Since I had just bought a mini-bundt pan at Williams Sonoma, I thought it would be fun to use it to make asparagus-based flans. I’m very pleased with the results. What do you think? ;-)

These flans are the perfect appetizers for a dinner party. They can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature or warmed-up. But above all, they are very cute and will impress your guests for sure! ;-)

I like to serve them with warm cheese sauce on top. I think the savory cheesiness of the sauce complements the very delicate texture of the vegetables wonderfully.

I wish you all a great beginning of summer. I’ll try to stay in touch as much as I can but I apologize in advance if I might miss some of your posts. Spending time with my extended family is wonderful, but it is also a full time job! ;-)

Asparagus and pea flanIngredients:

1 lb, asparagus
2 Cups, peas
1 leek
10 leaves, basil
2 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
1 1/2 Cup, stock
4 Tbsp, ricotta
4 Tbsp, grated Parmigiano cheese
5 eggs
Salt
Ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.

Wash the asparagus spears and cut off the woody ends. In a large pot, heat some water until it boils, add the asparagus and keep boiling for 3-4 minutes. Strain the asparagus, rinse with cold water and cut into ¾ inch pieces.

Wash the peas under cold running water. In another pot, heat some water until it boils, add the peas and keep cooking until they are tender. Strain the peas and rinse them with cold water.

Cut off the green top of the leek and the root. Discard the outer layer. Cut the leek in half lengthwise. Rinse the two halves well under water, being careful to leave them intact. Place each half, with the flat side facing down, on a chopping board. Slice the leeks thinly and evenly with your knife so that you end up with thin strips.

Asparagus and pea flanIn a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the leek, the peas and the asparagus, season with salt and pepper (to taste) and toss to coat. Add the stock and stir occasionally until the water evaporates. Set aside.

Chop the basil leaves roughly.

In a blender or food processor place the vegetables, the ricotta, the Parmigiano cheese, the basil and the yolks. Blend until you obtain a smooth mixture. Taste it to check whether you need to add more salt and blend again.

In a bowl, beat the egg whites until they get fluffy. With the help of a spatula, incorporate the beaten egg whites into the vegetable mixture.

Coat the mini-bundt pan molds with butter. If you do not have any such pan, you can use your regular muffin pan.

Fill the molds with the mixture. Place the mini-bundt pan inside a large, shallow pan. Add warm water to the large pan such that the lower half of the height of the mini-bundt pan is under water.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the mini-bundt pan from the water bath. Let the mini bundts cool.

Invert onto a serving plate and add some warm cheese sauce on top. Serve right away.

That’s all for today: talk to you soon from the old continent!

F. Xx

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About Francesca

I am a cook and the founder and art director of Flora's Table, the fine cooking and wine blog. Check us out at www.florastable.com :-)
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50 Responses to An unusual mini-bundt: asparagus and pea flan

  1. Please, don’t be sorry! Your salty mini-boundts look amazing! I’m in Italy right now, and I’m about to leave…. enjoy your vacation!!!!

  2. You can never have too many asparagus posts! These look wonderful, Francesca. Very elegant and I’m sure delicious. Have a brilliant holiday with your family in Italy!!

  3. Ema Jones says:

    I can’t wait to whip up a batch of these. Thanks for sharing.
    I made Healthy Cracker Chocolate Chips Muffins

    http://bit.ly/193JG6V

  4. talkavino says:

    Francesca, it looks great and I agree, it would be a great appetizer for the party! Enjoy your time in Italy!

  5. azita says:

    Going to Italy IS a glamorous reason! The bundts look adorable and certainly would make for a fabulous appetizer the thought of it being served topped with warm melted cheese literally made my mouth water.
    Safe and wonderful and fun-filled trip to Italy, dearest Francesca! :)

  6. What an absolutely fantastic idea Francesca! I’ve never even thought to use my mini bundt pans for something other than a sweet dessert. Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies, I recently made a soup that I devoured for lunch an entire week! You always have such creative ideas for what to serve to guests at a party. I’m definitely tucking this idea away because it’s so unique!

    • Francesca says:

      Thank you, sweet Heather! Isn’t that odd? All these party ideas and I’m one of the biggest antisocial persons on earth! ;-)
      Anyway, if there is someone who can nail these mini bundts, that person is definitely you! :-)

  7. Mary says:

    Seriously good recipe and hope to try it. The photographs are award winning, food publishers out there take notice. Have a safe and wonderful trip!

  8. My French Heaven says:

    Ohhh asparagus! The season is over around here, so the rare ones I can find come from far away and are really expensive. Great creative post as alway! :)

  9. Sounds delicious :) Have a wonderful time in Italy.

  10. - It is summer and abundance of fresh vegetables in season. Another great way to use asparagus, and accompanied with green peas. I love the cheese poured over.
    - Have a wonderful time in Italy, Francesca. Don’t worry about us. We will all be here and waiting for you to bring back souvenir stories and recipes for us. Bon Voyage! :)

  11. Francesca says:

    Thank you, Azita! I go and you just came back. Not the perfect timing but we’ll meet soon, my dear friend. :-)

  12. Mary Frances says:

    This is certainly unusual, but it looks great and I love the concept of a savory bundt!

  13. I love your mini bundt’s and what a great way to use the apsaragus. Have a wonderful time in Italy, can’t wait to hear about it when you return. I love the cheese sauce on the cakes.

  14. mmmarzipan says:

    wow! they look and sound amazing! very clever!!! :D

  15. I think they look lovely. I wish you a truly wonderful time in Italy. ;) xx

  16. Mary Frances says:

    I’ve never seen anything like this before. I love all the veggies!

  17. Dina says:

    Lovely idea, Francesca! It looks mouthwatering and very sophisticated. I hope you are enjoying a great time in Italy right now. Have fun! :-)
    Love, Dina <3

    • Francesca says:

      Thank you so much, Dina! After some very awful weather, we are finally enjoying the usual hot gorgeous Italian weather. Loving every minute of it! :-)

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  20. I hope you have a gorgeously wonderful time on the old continent. I LOVE this idea; am trying it very soon!

  21. milkandbun says:

    That’s really unusual and unique treats, Francesca! It reminds me your savoury madeleines ;) Wonderful color, it would be amazing appetiser for any occasion!
    Hope you have a lovely and joyful time in Itally!
    Hugs, Mila

    • Francesca says:

      Hi Mila! So glad to hear from you. Hope everything is well with you and your family. Thank you so much for your kind words. So nice of you to remember my … past endeavors. ;-)
      F. Xx

  22. Amazing as usual, dear Francesca, these asparagus buns are simply perfect ! I wish you a great time with your family and a lovely summer break!

  23. laurasmess says:

    I hope that you, Stefano and her majesty have a wonderful trip dear Francesca!! How wonderful to see family. My husband and I will also be in Italy in two weeks time, I haven’t visited before so I am very excited!! We’re visiting Venice, the Tuscany region and Rome throughout August. If you have any tips for me, let me know! :) Back to this lovely flan… I love the combination of tender, subtle asparagus and creamy cheese. I’ve never made a flan with asparagus before but I definitely want to now. Lovely post Francesca! Xx

    • Francesca says:

      Thank you, Laura! I hope you and your husband are having a wonderful time. You are sure falling in love with the old continent as much as you will with my country. Enjoy!

  24. What a unique idea. I love asparagus. Thank you for sharing. Emma.

  25. grapefulapp says:

    Looks divine!! Very impressive

  26. So Sorry that I have been away from your blogs and so many others…even my own. Never apologize for asparagus! I love this recipe. It’s bookmarked right NOW!

  27. Liz says:

    Amazing and the colour is something to remember! thanks for sharing

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