Cucumber mousse

This light and lovely mousse from Mrs Stephenson makes a stylish starter or an elegant buffet dish
By Sophie Grigson
Cucumber mousse
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus salting and overnight setting
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 0.5 cucumber, large, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp tarragon, or wine vinegar
  • 6 sheets leaf gelatine
  • 6 tbsp water, hot
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 500 g curd cheese, (or 250g each of sieved cottage cheese and cream cheese)
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chives, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1 bunches spring onions, chopped

Tips and Suggestions

This recipe comes from Mrs Victoria Stephenson, who makes a variety of mousses and salads for Justin de Bank's provision shops in London. Sometimes we eat it on rye bread, with a bottle of white wine, at five or six in the evening, sometimes as a first course. It goes with cold salmon trout and wholemeal bread and butter, as the main course of Sunday lunch in June.

Method

1. Lightly oil a 1 litre capacity ring mould or decorative mould of your choice.

2. Mix the cucumber, salt and vinegar together in a bowl. Then turn the mixture into a colander, put a heavy plate on top and leave for an hour at least. Remove the plate and press the cucumber with a clean cloth to get the last of the liquid away.

3. Dissolve the gelatine in hot water and whisk in the cream gradually until the mixture is smooth and very thick, but not stiff. Beat in the cream cheese.

4. Stir in the cucumber.

5. Taste the mixture and add a little more vinegar and salt if necessary, but be careful to overdo neither. Sometimes a couple of pinches of caster sugar will help to bring out the flavour; this depends on how good the cucumber was to start with.

6. Add a good grinding of black pepper and the chopped chives, parsley and spring onion.

7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared mould and leave overnight in the refrigerator to set.

Just before serving, turn out on to a plate and serve with plenty of wholemeal or rye bread.

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