In April 11’s Seasonal Pantry, available here, I write about shallots and promise to post my recipe for Roasted Shallot Flan, which appeared in the column in 2001, before it was archived on line. It’s taken me a while to get to it, as I’ve been down with a nasty virus but, finally, here it is.

Sliced raw shallots

Roasted Shallot Flan • Serves 4

A savory flan such as this one is a classic side dish with grilled and roasted meats, especially beef; this one is also extraordinary with roasted chicken. For a simpler meal that celebrates the shallot, serve the flan with a green salad tossed with shallot vinaigrette.

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 medium shallots, cleaned
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • White pepper in a mill
  • Whole nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Roasted & Glazed Shallots (recipe follows), sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil in a small oven-proof pan, add the shallots and 3 tablespoons water and season with salt. Cover the pan and bake the shallots until they are tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rub the insides of 4 ramekins with the remaining butter.
  3. Remove the shallots from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees and let the shallots cool until they are easily handled.
  4. Push the cooked shallots out of their skins and put them in a work bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the half-and-half and cream and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and egg yolks and pulse again.  Strain the custard, season it with a little salt, several turns of white pepper and several gratings of nutmeg. Stir and pour the custard into the ramekins.
  5. Set the ramekins in a deep baking dish and set the dish in the oven. Carefully pour hot water into the dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Bake until the flan is set, about 55 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick in the center of the custard. When it comes out clean, the flan is done. Begin testing as soon as the center looks set, so that you do not overcook the flan.
  7. Let rest 5 minutes, garnish each flan with some of the glazed shallots, and serve immediately.

Roasted & Glazed Shallots • Serves 3 to 4

  •  18 shallots, all roughly the same size, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons best-quality red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
  • Black pepper in a mill
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If the shallots are larger than a quarter, cut them in half lengthwise. Put the shallots in a heavy oven-proof pan, drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, and toss gently. Season with salt and roast, stirring now and then, until they are tender and have a golden brown glaze, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Add the butter and parsley, stir, and roast 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the oven, season with black pepper, and serve immediately.