Skip to content

Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Spinach Flan

Cibreo in Florence is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. Chef Fabio Picchi serves a light-as-air spinach flan as a course on his tasting menu. This is my version, which is a nice, light vegetarian first course option.


2 cups Heavy cream
10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained well
4 Eggs
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp Ground nutmeg

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano as needed for garnish

1 recipe Roasted Tomato Coulis

Roasted Tomato Coulis

6 Roma tomatoes
1 Tbl Vegetable oil
½ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp Fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 275.

Combine heavy cream and spinach in a small sauce pot and warm over low heat, just to take the chill off.

Remove from heat and puree until smooth. Strain through a chinois. Discard any solids that remain.

Transfer to a bowl and combine remaining ingredients gently.

Coat 8 4-6 oz. oven safe ramekins with non-stick spray and divide mixture among them. Bake in a water bath for 30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool slightly. Using a paring knife, loosen the flan from around the edges and unmold onto desired plate. Garnish with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Yield: 8 servings

Roasted Tomato Coulis

Preheat oven to 350.

Coat tomatoes in oil and place on sheet pan in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until skins begin to wrinkle and begin browning. Rotate tomatoes every 10 minutes to avoid one side burning.

Allow to cool just enough to handle, remove skins and place in food processor or blender with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pass through a chinois if a smoother texture is desired. Serve warm.

Yield: 1 cup

Recent Recipes

Stewed Squid

In a 2 quart sauce pan, heat the oil over medium and sweat the garlic and the crushed red pepper…

Read more

Cinnamon Cream Syrup

This pairs perfectly with Sweet Potato Pancakes. It may be better than the pancakes themselves (and they’re great). But try this recipe on regular pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Read more

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I ate my first sweet potato pancake during my only visit to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My family, along with another couple and their young children rented a cabin in the mountains during spring break. I woke every morning and headed into town for breakfast. I would imagine Gatlinburg has more pancake houses per capita than any place on the planet. My problem is that I never found a good-tasting pancake until I happened across sweet potato pancakes at one of the pancake houses. We serve a version of this recipe at The Midtowner. The Cinnamon Cream Syrup is a must.

Read more