Created by Cathy Whims, Nostrana in Portland, OR
Featured Product: Nancy’s Cultured Cream Cheese
Serves | 6
- 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter (plus some for buttering pan)
- 2 Tbsp. Flour
- ⅔ C Milk, warmed
- 3 Large Eggs
- ½ C Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- ⅔ C Nancy’s Cultured Cream Cheese
- 1 Bunch Asparagus (trimmed)
- ½ Bunch Watercress Whole Sprigs (slightly stemmed)
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- ¼ tsp. Pepper
- 1 Qt Boiling Water
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Butter an 8” pyrex square or 9” bread pan. Chill in the refrigerator just until butter is cold. Butter the pan again to ensure easy unmolding. Bring quart water to a simmer for the water bath.
- Prepare béchamel sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir over low heat for a minute or two. Remove from heat and whisk in warm milk. Return to medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking all along until mixture thickens, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place béchamel in a food processor, add cream cheese and parmesan, and process until smooth. Add eggs, salt and pepper and process again until smooth, scraping sides if need be.
- Pour mixture into buttered pan and place the pan in a larger roasting pan (needs 2” lip). Into the outer pan, pour in enough simmering water to reach about up to 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and bake until just set, about 25 minutes (or until the knife inserted in the center comes out clean). Sformato can be made a day in advance.
- While sformato is baking, prep asparagus and watercress.
- For asparagus, boil 1-2 inches of water in a large saute pan, add 2 tsp. salt and submerge asparagus, cooking till crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from water and drain carefully.
- For vinaigrette, in a small bowl blend olive oil and lemon with salt and pepper. Place asparagus on a plate and dress with vinaigrette.
- When sformato is done, let it rest for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and tap sides to loosen. Place your serving platter on top of the sformato and flip the pan to unmold. Garnish with dressed asparagus and decorate with watercress sprigs.