Monday, August 31, 2009

Parmesan Custards with Roasted Vegetables

Lately I have been very sludgy-the sort of feeling that comes on from eating too much processed food. I know that cooking my own meals will result in my feeling healthier but I have been having trouble getting off my butt as things like ice cream are easy & immediate fixes. Well, that changes today (and may change back tomorrow, but hey, one day at a time).

So this recipe may not technically be healthy because of the cheese and cream, it is made with fresh produce and has lots of good 'ole fiber, vitamins and minerals. Plus it is delicious, so that basically means it is good for me, right?

The custard recipe for this dish is from Epicurious's Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custards-a very delicious, creamy and delightful soup (provided you have access to fresh asparagus).

For Custards
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 whole large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper

1 recipe Slow Roasted Tomatoes
2 yellow crookneck squash
1 lb asparagus
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup basil, sliced into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

To Make Custards:
Bring cheese, cream, and milk just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and steep, covered, 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Prepare 1 recipe Slow Roasted Tomatoes while cheese-cream is steeping. Toss with sliced basil when done cooking.

Pour steeped cream through a very fine sieve into a bowl, pressing lightly on cheese solids and discarding them (Yeah I don't actually do this, Epicurious recommends it but I just whisk the mixture as it is getting hot/beginning to boil and never seem to end up with solids. And if I do, they are tasty solids). Whisk together whole egg, yolks, salt, and white pepper in another bowl, then add steeped cream in a stream, whisking until smooth. Divide among well-buttered ramekins.

Set ramekins in a baking pan and bake in a hot water bath in middle of oven until centers of custards are completely set, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer ramekins to a rack and cool 5 minutes (do not allow to cool longer, or custards will stick to ramekins).

While custards are cooking, prepare asparagus and squash.

Scrub outside of squash and rinse well to clean. Slice into long horizontal strips and toss with 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 clove minced garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Rinse asparagus and cut off tough ends. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add salt and asparagus. Let cook 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Toss with remaining pepper, garlic and olive oil.

When custards are removed to cool, turn oven to broil. Place squash in strips in large baking dish. Do same with asparagus spears.

Broil until vegetables are beginning to char, then remove.

Working with 1 custard at a time, run a thin knife around edge of each to loosen it, then invert a plate over ramekin and invert custard onto plate. Repeat with remaining custards.

Serve each custards in the middle of 3 stacks of roasted tomatoes, asparagus and crookneck squash.


  1. The custards sound really interesting. They must've been really nice with those fresh veggies.

  2. The custards sound delicious, great with roasted veggies!

  3. Well, cream and cheese help the recipe be good for your soul, and the veggies are good for your body, so then you can be healthy and happy!

  4. wow great food and love to get pictures again

  5. A well made and well balanced dish I really enjoyed it ...thanks for the share we all are richer for it..cheers kisses xxx :)

  6. I make something like this, adding spinach or arugula to the cream mixture and blend before baking in the it a fun green cast. I like the way you have used them here with roasted veggies as a main dish.

  7. Thanks Debi-I love your site! Your lemon biscotti cheesecake bars are on my "to-make" list as I am currently in the throes of a love affair with lemon!

  8. I want to make this recipe so badly...


Tried my recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Be honest (and kind!)