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Getting Back to our Roots

December 12, 1991|FAYE LEVY

When planning holiday menus, one question always comes up: How do you get away from the same old vegetables?

The French have the perfect answer. They have developed a simple way to turn even humble root vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, carrots and beets into delicious, glamorous creations. The vegetables are made into timbales, which are individual molds of baked creamy purees. In spite of their sophisticated, elegant appearance, these versatile vegetable dishes are quick and easy to prepare.

These bright - orange carrot timbales are sophisticated in appearance but simple to prepare. They taste wonderful on their own or as an accompaniment for veal, lamb, beef, chicken or turkey.

CARROT TIMBALES

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into medium slices

Salt

1 tablespoon butter

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

Freshly ground pepper

Dash sugar

Place carrots in saucepan and add enough water to cover. Add dash salt. Bring to boil. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until carrots are very tender. Drain well. Puree in food processor until smooth.

Melt butter in same pan. Add puree and cook over low heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes or until excess moisture evaporates. Remove from heat.

Whisk eggs with milk in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in puree. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Divide mixture among 4 generously buttered (2/3-cup) ramekins. Tap each to pack down mixture. Smooth top.

Set ramekins in roasting pan in oven. Add enough boiling water to pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake at 400 degrees 35 to 40 minutes until firm, or until cake tester inserted near center comes out dry. Add water to pan during baking if most of it evaporates.

Carefully remove molds from water. Cool 3 minutes. Run thin-bladed flexible knife around edge of each mold. Set small plate atop a mold and invert both. Holding both together, tap on towel-lined counter. Gently lift up mold. Repeat with remaining timbales. Serve hot or warm. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

153 calories; 242 mg sodium; 171 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 1.72 grams fiber; 46% calories from fat.

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