Sophia Lindop’s Carrot Sformato
In her recently published book, Season’s Bounty, Sophia Lindop does wonderful things with vegetables and this is one of them, perfect as a first course or vegetarian meal, or as Roald Dahl would say “good with steak.”
400 g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
20 g butter, melted, for greasing the moulds
25 g Parmesan, finely grated, for coating the moulds
250 ml milk
1 bay leaf
¼ nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt and white pepper to taste
25 g butter
20 g flour
20 g Parmesan, finely grated
2 eggs whites, beaten to form soft peaks
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Steam the carrots until soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain all excess liquid and place in a bowl. Using a hand blender, purée the carrots and set aside.
Cut out six little circles of parchment paper. Prepare the moulds by greasing them and placing the paper rounds in the bottom of each. Brush the paper rounds with butter too, and then coat the moulds with the finely grated Parmesan.
Prepare a béchamel sauce by heating the milk in a saucepan, together with the bay leaf, the nutmeg, the salt and the pepper. Melt the butter in another smaller pan, and stir in the flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. When the milk is about to reach boiling point, whisk the flour mixture into the milk, and allow the mixture to thicken. Remove from the heat and set aside – cover the surface of the sauce with cling film to prevent a skin from forming.
Add the puréed carrots and the Parmesan to the béchamel and stir well to combine. Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture and pour into the moulds.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn out the moulds by running a knife around the edges and inverting them onto a serving dish. Remove the parchment paper rounds.
Serve with a cheese sauce as a starter or a light vegetarian meal, or as an accompaniment to a meat dish.
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