Steamed courgette “souffle” with aged comte

28 March, 2016

A delicious start to a meal; courgettes really benefit from steaming, both in flavour and texture. Take care when you prepare the courgettes, use a teaspoon to remove the centre, being careful not to break through the green flesh.

SERVES 8 as part of a tasting menu

4 small courgettes (same size ideally and straight), evenly halved lengthways

a little table salt


30g butter

30g flour

150ml whole milk


80g aged comte cheese, grated

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 eggs (separated) plus two extra whites


dried courgette powder (optional)

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: steamer, electric whisk, thermos or food processor

Very carefully scoop out the white flesh from the courgettes, leaving approximately 3mm of flesh, near the skin. Place the courgette skins on a cooling rack and sprinkle evenly all over with a little table salt, set aside for 15 minutes. Do the same with the flesh but keep them separate from the skins.

Place the courgette flesh and the skins on two separated perforated containers and steam at 90C for 5 minutes. Remove the flesh from the oven and steam the courgette skins for another 3 minutes at 90C until soft but still holding their shape. Remove from the steam oven and drain on kitchen paper. Transfer the courgette skins to eight greased ovenproof dishes (or one large).

Start the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour and simmer gently for a minute, then remove from the heat and add the milk a little at a time until all has been absorbed. Return to the heat and whisk consistently until the sauce thickens, simmer for two minutes, remove from the heat and then transfer into a food processor with the steamed courgette flesh, cheeses and the mustard. Blitz until smooth. Transfer the béchamel to a large bowl and stir in the egg yolks.  

When ready to serve, preheat the oven on Fan Plus 175C. Whisk the egg whites in an electric mixer with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks, then carefully fold into the béchamel base in two batches and check the seasoning.

Divide the mixture between the eight dishes or one large one and bake for approximately 8 minutes for an individual soufflé or 12 minutes for a large soufflé. Serve immediately.

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