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    Courgette Custards With Pimiento Sauce

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    Courgette Custards With Pimiento Sauce

    These little custards are, essentially, a savoury quiche filling without the pastry – but are none the worse for that. A light tomato sauce would be equally good served with these, too.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 1 hour degorging
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 55 minutes, plus 1 hour degorging 60 minutes 55 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • 500g Courgettes, trimmed and grated
    • 25g Butter, plus a little extra for greasing
    • 3 Eggs, 1 separated
    • 200g Crème fraîche
    • 1 tbsp Grated Parmesan
    • 2 tsp Finely chopped dill
    • 2 tsp Finely snipped chives
    • ½ Garlic clove, crushed
    • Pimiento sauce
    • 75g Roasted peppers
    • 1 Small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    • 1 tsp Sherry vinegar
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 5 tbsp Olive oil
    • 3–4 drops Tabasco

    Method

    1. Sprinkle the courgettes with salt and leave to drain in a colander for 1 hour. Squeeze dry in a clean tea towel. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 3. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the courgettes, season with pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Allow them to colour lightly, but also try to make sure that any excess moisture is driven off by the heat. Tip onto a plate to cool.
    2. Mix together 2 eggs, the extra yolk, crème fraîche, Parmesan, herbs and garlic in a roomy bowl but do not over-beat – if the mixture is too light and airy, it will puff up too much while cooking, then sink back unattractively. Stir the cooled courgettes into the custard and season.
    3. Generously butter four 150ml ramekins, line the bottom of each with a circle of greaseproof paper and fill with the mixture to the brim. Place them in a deep roasting tin and add boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.
    4. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Place all the ingredients and 1 tbsp boiled water in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a jug and put to one side. Remove the custards from the oven, take them out of the water and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Run a small, sharp knife around the edges, then carefully turn the custards out onto 4 plates. Pour the sauce over, serving any that is left over in a bowl on the side, and eat warm.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The Corker recommends- Marlborough Sauvignon can overwhelm delicate dishes, but the use of the peppers and Tabasco in this dish paves the way for the wine’s heady charms.

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    5 stars