Ewe's-Curd Stuffed Courgette Flowers with Fennel Sherbet
Paula has fond memories of eating courgette flowers in quesadillas in Mexico when she was a child. She used to buy them at a stall on her grandmother's street. She talked about them so much that they were one of the first dishes Matthew tried when he travelled to Mexico to meet Paula's family.
In this dish, the flowers are baked – primarily so that the ewe's curd melts, becoming creamier, but also because they tend to be a little bit spiky when raw. The sherbet adds a touch of freshness to balance the milky cobnuts.
YOU WILL NEED
1 yellow and 1 green courgette
8 courgette flowers, stamens removed
160g fresh ewe's curd
40g fresh cobnuts, lightly crushed
Cobnut or hazelnut oil For the wild fennel sherbet 100g icing sugar
2 tsps citric acid
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp wild fennel seeds (or ordinary fennel seeds)
To make the sherbet, put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until the seeds are finely ground, then pass through a fine sieve. This will keep in an airtight container for up to a month, and is great with ice creams and sprinkled over other desserts.
Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Top and tail the courgettes, then cut them along their length in wafer-thin slices, using a mandoline or vegetable peeler.
Stuff the courgette flowers with the ewe's curd. To do this, we fill a piping bag with the curd and place the tip of the nozzle in the flower before filling. Alternatively, you could gently open up the flowers and spoon in the curd.
Place the flowers on a roasting tray and bake for two to three minutes, until the cheese has melted and the tips of the leaves are beginning to crisp a little.
Remove from the oven and keep warm.
Arrange the courgette ribbons decoratively on four serving plates and place the stuffed flowers amongst them.
Lightly scatter with the cobnuts, add a drizzle of oil and then dust with the fennel sherbet.