Butternut squash and leek flan

by Camilla - foodaroundblog

Butternut and leek flanButternut squash is very popular here in England. It looks like a large pear and its peel has a pale orange color. I find that pumpkins are a product aesthetically magnificent, with sinuous and rounded shapes, autumn colors and different roughness skins. It’s not a coincidence that some varieties have a decorative use only. My Big Butternut has bought in an ordinary Oxfordshire supermarket. After leaving it for about ten days on my kitchen windowsill  to gladden my eyes with its powder color, I decided that the time had come to face and cook it to delight my palate.

In Mantua, the city where I come from, pumpkin is a famous product. It is used to prepare the filling for ravioli, a main dish of the Mantuan cuisine, but quite complex to prepare.
This time I decided to prepare a recipe that my mom suggested me, simple but very tasty. It can be served either as a main dish or as a side dish. These are the ingredients:

700 grams of chopped butternut pumpkin (or other squash, that’s fine too)
2 medium-sized leeks
5 anchovies in oil
20 salted capers
50 grams of breadcrumbs
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Peel, wash and slice the pumpkin flesh. Wash and slice the leeks. Rinse the capers and blend or pass them to the mortar with the anchovies. At this point the game is simple: start in a baking dish with a layer of pumpkin, add a handful of leek rings, sprinkle a tablespoon of anchovies and capers’ tasty mixture, spread a dusting of bread crumbs, add salt, pepper and a little olive oil to taste and start the ride again: pumpkin, leeks, tasty chopped, bread, seasoning… For a hearty flan, 3-4 layers are required: the pumpkin looks very bulky raw, but when cooked, losing a lot of water, is reduced in volume. If you want to enrich the recipe, in addition to the bread crumbs you can add cheese crumbs or slices. Bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes. A delicious scent will herald you the pudding is ready.

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