Mushroom Sformato

See the RecipeBarbara Ries

Chef Michael Tusk of San Francisco's Quince Restaurant gave us the recipe for this rich, woodsy version of sformato, a warm and savory Italian custard.

Mushroom Sformato
Chef Michael Tusk of San Francisco's Quince Restaurant gave us the recipe for this rich, woodsy version of sformato, a warm and savory Italian custard.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
  • 34 cup flour
  • 6 14 cups milk
  • 2 14 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 oz. black trumpet mushrooms
  • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 8 oz. black salsify or Jerusalem artichoke, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/4"-thick slices
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cup canola oil

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and light brown, 3–4 minutes. Slowly whisk in 6 cups milk; cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 15–20 minutes. Whisk in 2 cups Parmesan until smooth and season with salt; remove pan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in eggs. Divide béchamel sauce into 3 equal portions; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 12" skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add half the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until any liquid evaporates and mushrooms turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Reserve 14 cup mushroom mixture for garnish; set aside. Put remaining mushroom mixture into a blender with one-third of the reserved béchamel sauce; purée, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Heat remaining olive oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-low heat. Add remaining shallots, salsify, thyme, and bay leaf and partially cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until salsify is tender but not browned, 10–12 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaf and set aside 14 cup of the salsify mixture. Place remaining salsify and one-third of the reserved béchamel sauce in a blender; purée, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
  4. Heat canola oil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°; add reserved salsify mixture and cook until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer salsify to paper towels; reserve for garnish.
  5. Heat oven to 350°. Grease six 8-oz. ramekins with butter and transfer them to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Pour 1" boiling water into baking dish. Put 13 cup reserved mushroom purée into each ramekin. Transfer baking dish to oven and bake until mushroom sformato is just set, about 5 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven and pour 13 cup salsify purée into each ramekin. Return baking dish to oven and bake until completely set and a toothpick inserted into the middle of each sformato comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, run the blade of a small paring knife around edges of the ramekins and invert each sformato onto a small plate. Heat remaining béchamel sauce, milk, and Parmesan in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat until hot, whisk until smooth, and spoon sauce around each sformato. Serve garnished with reserved mushrooms and fried salsify.