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Courgette Puree

ingredients

2 1/4 - 2 1/2 lb (1 kg) courgettes
14 fl oz (400 ml) vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 egg yolks
4 tbsp finely grated hard cheese
few basil leaves
nutmeg
1 1/2 oz (40 g) unsalted butter
salt and white peppercorns

garnish with:

sprigs of basil

method

1. Rinse and dry the courgettes and slice them into thick rounds. Place these in a saucepan with the stock and the garlic clove, partially crushed with the flat of a heavy knife blade. Cover and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes or until the courgettes are tender but still firm.

2. Drain, discard the garlic clove and put the courgettes through a vegetable mill together with a few basil leaves torn into small pieces. (You may prefer to reduce the vegetables to a thick puree by beating with a hand-held electric beater.)

3. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl with the grated cheese, a pinch of salt, some freshly ground white pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Heat the puree, add the butter and beat as it melts; keep beating as you add the egg yolk and cheese mixture a little at a time. Do not allow the puree to boil.

4. Stir over a low heat until it is very hot. Garnish with basil.

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