Lighter and easier to make, these veggie-packed spring flans are the ultimate alternative to classic soufflés.
Italian flans are a more forgiving version of the french cousins classic souffles. Although they’re similar in taste, flans have a firm even texture and they’re definitely easier to make. Most of all you don’t need to worry about the big soufflé-fail. The precise moment when you gently remove your beautifully puffed soufflés from the oven, and the second after they turn flat and lousy. Flans won’t disappoint you on this side, they happily bake in the oven in a bain-marie bath until nicely and evenly cooked. Simple as that and absolutely no-fuss.
Although are mostly known as dessert, savory flans are equally delicious and they can be easily customized with seasonal ingredients. I have sampled and tried so many flan recipes during the years, and my favorite are with asparagus, pumpkin, zucchini, broccoli – but I could easily add many others. My best tips? Be creative, go with the seasons, pick your favorite veggies and you can’t go wrong.
These pea and carrot flans make a fantastic light appetizer for a spring day and happen to be also perfect for today’s meatless Monday! Not only, they are also packed with health benefits and are naturally gluten free.
Peas and carrots both contains tons of Vitamin A, which is used by our eyes to maintain good vision, and one serving provides 210 percent of the recommended daily amount. In addition, these superfoods are a great source of Vitamin K, fiber,protein, minerals and antioxidants, which are equally important for our body.
The recipe is super easy and the flans are ready in 3 simple steps: mix all the pea flan ingredients in a bowl, all the carrot one in another bowl, fill a muffin tin alternating the two mixtures and bake over bain-marie in the oven.
These pea & carrot flans can also be served as a showstopping vegetarian starter for a fancy dinner, as well as a simple colorful way to make your kids ( and grown ups!) eat 2 portion of their 5 a day.
Souffle-like Pea & Carrot Flans
- 200 gr/ 7oz fresh/frozen peas
- 200 gr/ 7oz carrots finely chopped
- 100 gr/ 3.5oz ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs beaten until light and frothy
- 2 tbsp almond flour
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme or mint leaves
- Extravirgin olive oil for brushing
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 150Cfan/170C/325F.
- Quickly boil both carrots and peas in two separate pots of lightly salted boiling water.
- Drain under cool running water, then pat dry.
- In a food processor blend cooked carrots until smooth, then add in half the ricotta and thyme, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp almond flour and 1 beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper and transfer into a bowl.
- Clean the food processor and fold the cooked peas in, then add the remaining ricotta, almond flour, parmesan, thyme and beaten egg. Season to taste.
- Spray with oil a non-stick muffin pan and fill the molds by half with the carrots mixture. Fill to the top with the pea mixture.
- Arrange the muffin-tin on a large roasting tray filled with hot water by 2/3, to make the bain-marie.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 mins or until set. Allow to cool slightly before removing the flans from the tins.
- Turn the flans upside down on a serving plate and serve. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to browse more meatless Monday recipes!