Cold cucumber and ricotta mousse

Make this deliciously light mousse of cucumber, ricotta and herbs for an elegant starter
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
Cold cucumber and ricotta mousse
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus overnight straining
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 500 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 15 g powdered gelatine
  • 6 tbsp very hot water
  • 300 ml double cream
  • generous handful of chopped chives, parsley and spring onions
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • wholemeal or caraway crusty bread rolls, to serve

Method

1. Tip the ricotta into a muslin-lined sieve set over a deep bowl. Leave to strain overnight in a cool place.

2. Mix the cucumber, salt and vinegar in a bowl. Turn the mixture into a colander, put a plate on top and leave to drain for at least 1 hour. Remove the plate, and press down gently with a cloth.

3. Lightly brush a 1.2-litre mould with oil.

4. Dissolve the gelatine in the hot water and leave until tepid. Make sure the gelatine is thoroughly dissolved.

5. Gradually beat in the cream until the mixture is smooth and very thick but not stiff.

6. Pass the ricotta through the small disc of a food mill to aerate it. Stir it into the cream along with the cucumber. Taste, and add a touch more tarragon vinegar and salt if you think it needs it, but do not make the taste too strong.

7.Grind in some black pepper, then stir in the herbs and spring onion.

8. Turn into the oiled mould, cover and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

9. When ready to serve, quickly dip the mould into a basin of boiling water, then go round the edge of the mould with the point of a knife that you have dipped in hot water. Turn out onto a serving plate.

10. Serve with wholemeal or caraway rolls.

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