Spinach and Egg Flan

Makes 3 flans

These cupcake-size individual flans make a great accompaniment to almost any meat or fish entrée. They have a gentle, mellow flavor and texture—somewhat like an expertly cooked French quiche. This version uses cooked fresh spinach, but you can easily substitute or add other vegetables such as sautéed leeks or minced onion, other greens, bits of sautéed mushrooms, or even a pinch of crabmeat.

2 eggs, well beaten
⅓ cup almond milk*
1 (10-ounce) bag baby spinach
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. You'll be using a regular-size muffin or cupcake tin; if it is nonstick, you can just use it as is. If not, lightly butter 3 of the cups.
  2. To prepare the spinach, bring a 4-quart pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, put all of the spinach into the pot and let it boil for 10 seconds. Remove the pot from the stove, strain the spinach out into a colander, and run cold water over the spinach until it is cool to the touch. Squeeze as much water as possible out of all the spinach, then chop it coarsely.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Using a ladle or a measuring cup, fill the muffin cups about two-thirds full.
  4. Place the muffin tin in a roasting pan or another deep-sided baking pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with hot water until it comes to 2 inches from the top. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil (allowing the egg mixture to steam) and place it in the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Check to see if the flans have set (they will jiggle like jello or not move at all if shaken). If they appear loose or liquidy in the center, let cook for several more minutes and check again.
  5. Take the flans from the oven, immediately remove the foil, and lift the muffin tin out of the roasting pan. Let the flans set on the counter for several minutes, then serve them warm or even at room temperature. They'll keep for several days in the refrigerator; warm them gently in the microwave or oven.

*Note: To make your own SCD almond milk, see Almond Flour Pancakes. You'll need to make it a day or so before using it in the flan.

Travis H. Bettinson, Personal Chef, Seattle, Washington www.junipfoods.com