Friday, October 16, 2009

Broccoli Timbales

I'm not a big fan of broccoli. It's a member of the cabbage family, and to me it can sometimes taste too much like cabbage.

However, I eat it because it's green, full of phytonutrients, and therefore good for me.

In the effort to enjoy broccoli, I like to prepare it with other vegetables and ingredients so that it's anything but plain and cabbage-tasting.

That's the beauty of vegetable timbales or mini vegetable egg custards; they disguise disagreeable vegetables.

The name "timbale"comes from the thimble-shaped individual molds in which the vegetable custard is cooked in the oven in a Bain Marie (water bath).

As you can see in the picture, the ingredients needed to make broccoli timbales are basic:
  1. broccoli
  2. leeks
  3. half and half or regular milk
  4. grated cheese
  5. nutmeg
  6. salt and pepper
  • The portion of broccoli in the pic above is in equal portion to the amount of leek, in total it's about 1.5 cups of vegetables per two eggs.
  • Saute the broccoli and leeks in some butter until they're wilted and soft, but don't let them overcook. Now turn them into a food processor and blend the veggies to a pulp. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the veggies into a mixing bowl.
  • Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the mixing bowl with the veggies, beat gently with a wooden spoon. Add 1 cup half-and-half, half a cup grated cheese, a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Whip egg whites till they're stiff and fold them into the ingredients in the mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, grease individual timbale containers with butter. If you don't have timbale containers, use a muffin tray or cupcake containers. Pour the egg and vegetable mix into your container(s), leaving a little space at the top for the timbale mix to rise slightly.
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place filled timbale container(s) into a baking tray and add enough water to the tray so that it comes part-way up the timbale containers.
  • Cover the baking tray with foil and place it in the oven for about 35-40 mins.
  • Remove the foil at around the 30-min mark if you'd like the top of the timbales to brown slightly.
Allow timbales to cool before running a knife around the inside edge of each container, loosening the timbale so that you can turn it out onto a plate or cookie tray.

Once you've upturned each timbale onto a plate, cover them with foil and reheat in a 325-degree oven (or you can serve them warm or cold).

To Serve: Since they present so well, timbales can be the focus of a main meal with a side of fish or chicken, and a salad. Or they can be served as a starter with a generous dollop of hollandaise and a sprig of fresh tarragon.

I fancy them as a side to fish or white meat since the flavor of custard-infused broccoli timbales is delicate, not at all cabbage-like, and thus a delicious way to eat a green that I might otherwise avoid altogether.


Anonymous said...

Oh I so love this idea.....Im making it tonight, thank you:)

Louise Ross said...

Oh great! Vegetable timbales take a little extra effort to make, but they look so appetizing, more so than a serving of plain boiled/
steamed/sauteed broccoli florets :)