A pretty layered vegetable terrine can be served lightly chilled and cut into elegant slices. The ‘binding base’ is a delicate cheesy savoury custard holding colourful cooked vegetables together. Choose vegetables of contrasting colours such as carrots, leeks, red pepper, green beans, asparagus spears and button mushrooms, and arrange them either randomly or symmetrically in layers. For best effect, line the base and sides of the tin with blanched spinach leaves.
Blanch 250g (8oz) large spinach leaves until just wilted. Refresh and cool. Carefully line the base and sides of an oiled 1 kg (2 lb) loaf tin, slightly overlapping so that there are no gaps.
Boil a selection of about 500g (1 lb) mixed vegetables until tender. Add in stages, the harder ones first, to cook the vegetables to the same degree of tenderness. Drain the vegetables together.
Refresh the vegetables and cool. Arrange the vegetables in the loaf tin in a glorious jumble lengthwise along the tin; mixing the colours and shapes and seasoning well in between the layers of vegetables.
Beat together 1whole egg, 2egg yolks and 300ml (½pint) single cream with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Add 50g (2oz) grated Cheddar cheese. Pour over the vegetables. Fold back the spinach leaves.
Cover with a double thickness of greased foil and bake in a bain-mane at 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4 for l-1¼ hours until the centre is just set.
Remove the tin and cool, then chill before turning out on to a serving plate. If the custard has seeped out a little, scrape it off. Cut carefully into slices.