September 22, 2004

Zucchini Flan with Tomato Coulis

This recipe is from the New York Times "Dining In" Section, September 3, 2003.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
2 to 3 pounds zucchini, washed and thinly sliced (i use the side of my grater)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic (i don't measure. i just use lots)
5 eggs
1/4 cup cream or milk
4 medium tomatoes, preferably very ripe, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon sugar (i use brown sugar or sucanut)

1. Put half the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, a large pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini wilts and gives up its liquid; add 1 tablespoon garlic. Continue to cook until zucchini browns slightly. (mine never really browns, but it gets pretty wilty.)

2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees and set a kettle of water to boil. Beat together the eggs, cream and more salt and pepper. When zucchini is done, let it cool slightly, then scoop slices into egg mixture, using a slotted spoon. Stir. LIghtly grease an 8 by 4 inch nonstick loaf pan in a baking dish and put in oven; add water to come as far up sides of loaf pan as is practical. Bake until flan is set, but still slightly jiggly in middle, about 30 minutes.

3. While flan cooks, make tomato coulis: Put remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add tomatoes, remaining garlic, salt and pepper, Basil and sugar. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about 15 minutes.

4. When flan is done, cool it on a rack for a few minutes. Invert over a plate and unmold. (I don't bother. I just scoop it out for everyone.) Cool until warm, then slice and serve with tomato coulis.

The recipe says "8 servings as a first course or light lunch" but my husband and I will pretty easily split this between us as our entire dinner.