Squash stuffed with a cheesy flan is a beautiful cool weather dish, whether served as a side or as a meatless entrée. Feel free to use other varieties of squash, though baking times will vary according to their size.
For the squash:
- 2 acorn squash
- Extra virgin olive oil Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the flan:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces Asiago or Pecorino Romano, freshly and finely grated
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
For the garnish:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 12 fresh sage leaves
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Using a sharp knife, remove the squash stems and cut each squash in half lengthwise. If the halves don’t sit flat, cut a small slice off the bottom (rounded side) of each to stabilize them. Scrape out the seeds and stringy bits. Generously brush the cut sides and cavities with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a rimmed sheet pan, cut sides down, and roast until almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Prepare the flan: Whisk the eggs until the yolks and whites are well mixed. Whisk in the cream, then the olive oil, cheese, cayenne, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash halves over so the cavities face up. Divide the flan mixture among the cavities. Return to the oven and bake until the center of the flan is set and the squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes more.
In the meantime, heat a frying pan to medium-high. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Fry the sage leaves in a single layer, then drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, and use the leaves to garnish the acorn squash flans.
Serves 4 to 6