Madame Bovary’s Courgette Souffle

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This post is especially for my lovely friend Lynn over at ‘Lynz real Cooking’, who I am sure needs no introduction from me for most of you, but those of you who may have missed her poignant, courageous blog about her life behind the veil in Saudi Arabia, where she raised 9 amazing children in often very difficult circumstances and tells her tale without self pity or sensationalism, but with humanity and wit – not to mention the smattering of Arabic/American delicious recipes along the way.

I was telling her about my lovely afternoon spent reading ‘Madame Bovary’ in the glorious Parisian sunshine in one of my favourite haunts – Le Cimetiere Montparnasse’.
Le Cimetiere Montparnasse is very close to the restaurant that I featured in an earlier post ‘Empty Chairs and Empty Tables’ posted just after the attacks of November 13th.

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Slightly more diners than in my last post, but still nowhere near the elbow to elbow norm!

 

I am happy to report that the chairs and tables were no longer empty, but still a far cry from their former ‘elbow to elbow’ status – I am sure Paris will lick her wounds as she has done so many times throughout her chequered history.

And now tickle your literary  taste buds with a quote from Madame Bovary and some photographs from my ‘spiritual home’, Montparnasse,

Sometimes she would reflect that these were, after all, the most beautiful days of her life, the honeymoon, as it was called. Probably in order to savour the sweetness, you had to travel far away to those lands with legendary names, where the first days of marriage were filled with sweet indolence.
in the ‘post-chaise with its blinds of blue silk, you would slowly climb up the steep mountain roads, listening to the song of the postilion as it echoed over the mountain roads and mingled with the tinkling of goats bells and the muffled roar of the waterfall.  
At sunset you would stand above a bay breathing in the scent of the lemon trees; then in the evening, you would sit alone together on the terrace of some villa, your fingers intertwined, gazing at the stars and making plans.
It seemed to her that certain places on earth must produce happiness.
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

 

 The view from where I was sitting reading in the lovely Parisian sunshine

I actually managed to achieve poor Emma Bovary’s dream and have lived in Paris for the past seven years.
I don’t know about you, but I think that she was a ‘soufflé’ kind of girl, a little bit top show and unsubstantial, aspiring to be greater than she really was, and collapsing when reality hit her.

My simple soufflés collapsed pretty quickly too and the moral of this story is always be sure that you have your SD card in your camera before photographing soufflé …….
They did taste divine though and were Oh so easy to make (as everything on here)
So without further ado let’s give it a try….

Ingredients
Makes 4

2 medium courgettes

1 small bag of rocket

3 eggs separated

1 tub of crème fraiche

2 handfuls of grated cheese (Gruyere or mild Cheddar)

A handful of Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to season

A little butter to grease the ramekins

Method

Cook the courgettes whole in boiling slightly salted water for 10 minutes then cut into manageable chunks and blitz in a food processor with the rocket and crème fraiche

Add the egg yolks and the cheese and season to taste

Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the mixture with a large metal spoon

Pour into the buttered ramekins, sprinkle with a little parmesan and bake in a ‘bain Marie’ (baking tray filled with hot water to prevent the outsides drying out while setting) in a moderate to hot oven for 10-15 until the centres have just set and the tops have risen and are slightly golden

This is delicious served with white fish or alone as an entrée

I think Emma would have loved sitting at the window of a majestic Parisian apartment eating this don’t you……….

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11 thoughts on “Madame Bovary’s Courgette Souffle

  1. Lynz Real Cooking says:

    Oh thank you so much Lyndy! Your words are so kind and this is an amazing post! The pictures show us a different glimpse of Paris and something so personal! The recipe is lovely and so glad to see that your favorite place is becoming popular again after the devastation! Lovely post!!! xxx

    • lindaravello says:

      Thank you, I am glad that you enjoyed it. I have had a lazy day catching up on posts that I had not had time to read over the past couple of weeks, plus the weather has been cold and wet, so perfect!

  2. White House Red Door says:

    Beautiful pictures of life in Paris! So happy to see that the tables are slowly filling back up. The souffle looks delicious and I love your sense of humor/recommendation about having camera in hand with SD card loaded when attempting to photograph a souffle! I can only imagine the verbal commentary that went along with trying to get the SD card in the camera as your hard work was deflating before your eyes… or at least the verbal commentary that would have been coming out of my mouth! 😉

  3. lindaravello says:

    Ha ha yes, the best of all was, I had removed the SD card to take it back to the UK to load some photos on my laptop there, and it was in my English purse, which was in my suitcase….but I can say ‘hand on heart’ that they were standing prouder than Liberace’s quiff when I took them out of the oven – so high in fact that I thought they would topple, not collapse…..

    • lindaravello says:

      I love them, they are so versatile, if you rummage around a bit on my blog, there is a lovely courgette salad using raw courgettes and also a tagliatelle, gratin and round courgettes stuffed with prawns, so happy cooking

  4. Rachel says:

    These are so creative! I feel like you live the most picturesque life. Keep the photos of your local restaurants coming! Gives me wanderlust! 🙂

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