My Vegetable Man's Asparagus Flan

This recipe (to which we have made some minor modifications) is from The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells (2004). Another cookbook with a major focus on vegetables will be available from Ms. Wells in mid-April. We hope to share some recipes from her new book in future columns.


Preheat oven to 425°. Butter gratin dish and set aside. Bring 3 cups of water to a simmer; place asparagus in water; steam just until cooked through (3-5 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Place bacon cubes in large skillet and cook, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat just until they begin to give off fat and start to brown (4-5 minutes). Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cream and eggs. Whisk to blend.

Pour half of the cream and egg mixture into the gratin dish. Scatter bacon over the mixture; layer asparagus on top of bacon; season with salt and pepper, cover with the remaining cream mixture.

Place gratin dish into center of oven and bake until mixture is set and golden, 30-35 minutes (begin checking at 28 minutes). Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. 4-6 servings.