Sunday, September 11, 2011
Summer Vegetable Custard
I had planned to cook all last weekend, but shifts came open at my second job, and I had to opt for the money. This left eggplants, banana and bell peppers, and three kinds of squash marooned in my refrigerator. I had to do something with them Tuesday before they underwent the Big Shrivel. I planned to cook them up separately. I would freeze them for later.
I put two 7 inch regular eggplants in a baking dish and roasted them at 375 for an hour. This gave me 1 1/2 cups of pulp. I ground up 3 five inch zucchini and 2 small yellow squash in my food processor. Then in went 3 sweet banana peppers and 1 large red pepper, all ground to just this side of a puree. I thought I would saute them. And then I realized that I had the makings of a Ratatouille custard. I sauteed a medium yellow onion in olive oil, and sweated it with sea salt. When it was golden it joined the other vegetables in a big mixing bowl. And then I added 1 cup of diced fire roasted canned tomatoes. I put in some more sea salt to taste and a dash or two of Italian seasoning. And 4 minced cloves of garlic. I grated up a cup of Romano cheese and added it. This was the last chance to taste and adjust before I beat in 6 eggs. I put the custard into a 9 inch ungreased Pyrex baking dish. I baked it at 375 for a little over an hour, but keep your eye on this. As soon as the center is set and a test fork comes out clean, this custard is done.
I took this dish in to work to repay a couple I worked with who had taken me out to dinner. They are adventurous eaters, and I knew they would love it. They did. But a young, new nurse was not so sure. She hated eggplant, she said. But she decided to try the custard.
"This is great" was her verdict, "This is off the chain. I can''t even taste the eggplant".
Well of course she could. She had no experience in tasting eggplant used well.
This was a fine dish. A quiche without a crust A custard, if you prefer. We ate it up to the last molecule.