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Courgette and tomato mousse

When deseeding the tomatoes, cut out the hard white piece of core under the stalk as it is rather dry and tough to eat and will spoil the texture of the mousse.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
250 g (9 oz) courgettes, sliced about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick
25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
150 ml (1/4 pint) thick bottled mayonnaise
150 ml (1/4 pint) cold chicken stock
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons water
15 g (1/2 oz) powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons snipped chives
few drops Tabasco (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 g (9 oz) tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and diced

to garnish

tomato slices
1 tablespoon snipped chives

method

1. Melt the margarine in a large frying-pan over low heat, add the courgettes and cook gently for about 15 minutes until soft, stirring so that the courgettes do not brown.

2. Place the courgettes with the mayonnaise, chicken stock and egg yolks in a blender or food processor and blend to a puree.

3. Put the water in a bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine and leave to soak until spongy. Then stand the bowl in a pan of hot water and stir until the gelatine is dissolved and the liquid is clear.

4. Turn the puree into a large bowl and stir in the chives and the Tabasco, if using. Taste and season. Then stir in the dissolved gelatine. Leave in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until just setting.

5. Stir the puree until smooth then stir in the diced tomato. Whisk the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks and then carefully fold into the puree.

6. Turn the mixture into a 1 1/2 pint souffle dish and chill for about 1 1/2 hours or until set.

7. Serve garnished with tomato slices and snipped chives.

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