She sent me one of her recipes to try out and has kindly allowed me to share it with you, so here it is, including her preamble and tips. Pattison (or pâtisson) is another name for a sort of large patty pan squash. It's often listed as one of France's légumes oubliés ('forgotten vegetables') but it is readily available in the autumn in the supermarkets and is often grown in private potagers. Cynthea was given one by her vegetable supplier and came up with this recipe to use it. Like me, I think she finds pattison needs to be used as a base for other more flavourful things, and was pleasantly surprised at how well this combination turned out.
Ingredients for soufflés of pattison courgette and carrots.
I had cooked pattison only once before, using Ken's very nice stuffing recipe. Unfortunately, whilst the stuffing was tasty enough to use again, pattisons are probably the most tasteless vegetables I have ever come across (and I grew up where you periodically found chokoes on your plate!) Consequently, when it came time to make Cynthea's recipe, I avoided the pale off white pattison on the supermarket shelf and bought an orange one instead. It was much nicer - more or less pumpkin, really - but that left me with another problem. Simon was tramatised by a scoop of mashed pumpkin in his infancy and simply cannot face the stuff. Heyho, I made the soufflés anyway and served him different vege.'Moelleux' of Pattison Courgette and Carrots
A 'moelleux' is a sweet or savoury soufflé with a soft and runny centre. (Moelleux au chocolat' has become a real favourite in many French restaurants.) These little soufflés can be served as a starter or an accompaniment to a main course - they are great with duck. I usually make my 'moelleux' in silicone mini-muffin moulds or non-stick tins, as they are so easy to unmold. If you wish to make larger ones use ramekin dishes. I like them as they can be re-heated after the initial cooking and also can be stored in the freezer and then reheated from frozen and they are still light and moist. You can obviously make your own carrot purée, but I buy one from Monoprix which I think is particularly good.
For about 16 little soufflés
Preparation time 20 mins
Cooking time 50 mins
1 Pattison Courgette (100g only required)
100g carrot purée
75g goats' cheese (demi-sec or sec)
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 teasp. baking powder
1 dessert sp. corn flour
Pinch ground cumin
1 dessert sp. fresh coriander chopped
- Do not cut up the courgette, leave it whole and in a large saucepan boil it for around 30mins. Lift it out of the saucepan with a large slotted spoon and leave it to cool a little before cutting off the top and scooping out the 100g you need for this recipe.
- Preheat the oven at 210°C and put oiled ramekin dishes or a mini-muffin silicone mould on a baking sheet. Season the carrot purée to your taste with cumin.
- Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onion and garlic 3-4 minutes. Add the milk and the crumbled cheese. Stirring the mixture continuously, heat it 2-3 minutes to allow the cheese to melt, and then remove from the heat.
- Put the 100g of Pattison courgette into the bowl of a food processor and add the milk, cheese and onion mixture, then blend for a couple of minutes.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl and then, with a wooden spoon, progressively beat in the flour, the corn flour and the baking powder to achieve a smooth batter.
- Pour the mixture from the food processor into the egg/ flour mixture and mix well.
- Put a small amount of the courgette soufflé mixture into each of the ramekins or moulds. Add a teaspoonful of the carrot purée and then cover this with more of the courgette soufflé mixture.
- Put the baking sheet into the oven and cook for 18- 25 minutes (the cooking time depends on the size of the moulds used). Allow the soufflés to cool a little before serving.
- If you wish to freeze some of your soufflés, they can be successfully reheated in a hot oven 18 minutes from frozen. The remaining courgette can be used in soups and vegetable gratins.
Because my pattison was orange I didn't think there was any point in keeping the carrot and the pattison purées separate, so I combined the two. Cynthea subsequently told me that she had put the carrot purée in the middle to give a good 'moelleux' texture, all squidgy in the centre. Coriander leaf is impossible to get in these parts unless you grow it yourself, and my small crop is finished, so I used a couple of finely shredded sage leaves and some chopped parsley. Due to the temporary nature of our kitchen, I wasn't equipped with 16 small soufflé dishes, or even a suitable silicone mould, so I made bigger ones in a rather motley collection of dishes.