Flan With Green Herbs

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 9 years old.

From the Essential Pépin tv series, Episode 123: Eggs-quisite

In home-cooking, a flan — be it sweet or savory — is a custard. The choice of herbs and greens used to season this savory flan can be altered based on your garden or market; bear in mind, though, that certain herbs — tarragon, basil, and cilantro, for example — have a stronger flavor and so should be used in smaller quantities than milder herbs like parsley or chervil. This makes a terrific first course.—Jacques Pépin


Serves 6

6 cups loosely packed mixed herbs and greens, such as sorrel, cilantro, parsley, chervil, chives, basil, tarragon, and arugula
4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
6 large eggs
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 4 large), coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

FOR THE FLAN: Wash the herbs, greens, and spinach thoroughly and drain well. Coarsely chop.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in an 8- to 10-inch ovenproof nonstick saucepan. Add the nuts and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir in the herbs and spinach and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft and tender.

Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk in the cream until blended. Add the mixture to the saucepan, along with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for about 15 seconds, until semiset. Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Transfer the flan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.

MEANWHILE, FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE: Put the tomatoes in a food processor with the jalapeño, if using, and process until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil and process for a few seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

Spoon the hot flan onto plates and serve with the sauce.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

More Essential Pépin television episode information