Eggplant Flan {Sformato di Melanzane}


The eggplants in our garden are growing well this summer, and I have been using them to make our favorite Eggplant Parmesan, Eggplant & Tomato Salad, Pasta all Norma, and Roasted Mixed Vegetables pretty often over the last couple of months. I was looking for a new recipe that featured eggplants but just couldn’t seem to find something that caught my attention until Letizia Mattiacci posted an eggplant sformato recipe on Facebook. Letizia is an Umbrian chef, owner of Alla Madonna del Piatto Cooking School, Agriturismo B&B and Vacation rental, and lives outside of Assisi. Letizia always shares great recipes, so I knew that this one would be delicious also. You can find out more about Letizia’s recipes and her B & B on her blog. 

A sformato is a savory flan, or type of custard usually made with pureed vegetables, sometimes rice, eggs, and milk or cream. This sformato is a little more rustic than the ones I have enjoyed in local restaurants because the eggplant is simply chopped, and is not pureed. Although I do love a smooth, elegant flan, the rustic appearance of this one appealed to me as I prefer simpler Italian recipes.

We enjoyed this sformato for Sunday lunch warm from the oven, although it was also delicious the next day reheated. I followed Letizia’s recipe with just a few minor changes as I added an additional egg and a little more milk than she called for since I was using more eggplants. I think the next time I make it I’ll skip the chopped tomatoes on top, and instead, I’ll serve each portion with some fresh tasting tomato sauce which would make it almost a deconstructed eggplant parmesan kind of feel to it.

Ready For The Oven!

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2017

Eggplant Flan {Sformato di Melanzane}

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 Eggplants (About 3 Pounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese, Divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Basil
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Ripe Tomatoes

For The Casserole:

  • Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the eggplants on an aluminum lined baking sheet and bake until very soft, turning over often.
  3. Cool, then peel the eggplants and place in a colander.
  4. Place a weight on top of the eggplants to help purge them of excess liquid for 30 minutes.
  5. Chop the eggplant coarsely.
  6. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic and cook a minute or two until fragrant.
  7. Add the chopped eggplant, and cook, stirring continuously for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Place the eggplant in a bowl along with the beaten eggs, milk, 1 cup of grated Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Oil an oven-proof casserole dish then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
  11. Spoon the eggplant mixture into the casserole smoothing the top with a spoon.
  12. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese.
  13. Spoon the tomatoes into the center of the sformato, then bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the sformato is set, and the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
    Rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Lazy Basil Eggplant Sformato from Letizia Mattiacci