A perfectly light summer dessert that celebrates the French’s favourite lemon verbena. It’s not just for drinking!
Mamma Mia! It’s Coriscan Stuffed Courgettes (Zucchini) on the menu here. When Manu asked me to guest post, my adoration for Italy kicked in again. I adore all the tempting treats that Manu serves us on her Menu and especially all of the beautifully authentic Italian delicacies, complete with her famous step-by-step immaculate instructions and gorgeous photos. For those that follow le blog here, you’ll remember that Manu shared her Genovese Ericine Sicilian speciality for the egg yolk recipe series.
What could I serve on her guest menu that would be authentic from France? To help me pick something, Manu and I have a number of things in common: we both followed our hearts to another land with another language and settled into another culture. I came to France from Scotland and although it’s not far compared with Manu, the culture difference was pretty mind-boggling. I didn’t just marry a Frenchman; I married a Corsican.
The island of Corsica has been in and out of so many hands in history but although it’s closer to Italy than France, geographically – it is politically part of France. Their culture is a real mix of Italian and French. I could go on but basically the Corsicans and the Scots have plenty in common when it comes to their feelings of independence!
One of Corsica’s popular dishes is stuffed courgettes. They come alive with the taste of the Corsican speciality cheese, Brocciu, which is made from unpasturised goat’s or ewe’s milk. Either way, it’s fresh and fabulously creamy – a bit like Italian ricotta but it’s not. It’s just brocciu (pronounced ‘broach‘.)
This is so simple and a favourite when we visit my husband’s family in their remote mountain village. I have a few family recipes for this classic but each one is different: this one is my own adaptation since the best ones I have tasted on the island use mint rather than parsley or basil.
Corsican Stuffed Courgettes (Zucchini) with Mint & Ricotta
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
8 glossy courgettes (zucchini)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 slices mixed grain bread (or plain if you prefer), mixed to breadcrumbs
250g fresh Corsican Brocciu cheese or tub of ricotta
20g parmesan, finely grated
1 egg yolk
2 tbsps pine nuts
1. Drop the courgettes into a large pot of salted boiling water and leave them to soften for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool while preparing the other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Trim off the ends then halve each of them lengthwise. Using a small spoon (I love to use a grapefruit spoon as it has more control), hollow out the flesh leaving a shell about 1cm thick. Chop up the removed courgette pulp.
3. Fry the chopped courgette pulp in some olive oil over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly or until the courgettes are no longer giving off any more liquid. Add the garlic and mint and continue to stir over the heat for another couple of minutes. Set aside to cool and season with salt and pepper.
4. Using a blender, blitz the bread into crumbs. In a bowl, mix the cheeses, egg yolk, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and add the cooked courgette mixture.
5. Dry the courgette shells with kitchen paper then stuff each one generously. Place them in a single layer on an oiled baking dish.
6. Bake for about 40 minutes, until browned.
Serve hot on their own and a chilled glass of white Patrimonio Corsican wine just sets the mood. I love Vermentino – do you?
This post was published as part of my guest post over at Manu’s Menu and so comments were closed in favour of posting on Manu’s site. I’ve opened this up for comments now so please don’t be shy – try out the recipe!
Paris this week has been blessed with an incredible Indian Summer. It’s hard to believe it’s Autumn but hey, let’s not complain! We’re supposed to hit 30°C today so the weekend is beckoning us to eat outside. We’re finally getting that August weather we never had.
Today you are all in for a treat. I am thrilled to have the gorgeous, glowingly healthy, Kelly Hunt join us from Eat Yourself Skinny.
Why is she so healthy looking? I’m sure her tempting eat-yourself-skinny recipes may just have something to do with it. En plus, although she has a love-hate relationship with running, she still manages to conquer the odd marathon. My favourite part, though, is that she not only adores her food but enjoys her wines, too. How lucky to have so many fabulous wineries in Virginia on her doorstep!
Ladies and gentlemen, macaronivores, let me hand you over to Kelly – she is about to share something particularly fabulous with us to welcome Autumn.
Anyway, I absolutely loved the combination of flavors in this bread. You have cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves…ahem, need I go on?? This really turned out incredible, was perfectly moist and tasted sensationally sweet!
Have I sold you yet??
Well if not, the best part is this only takes about 10 minutes to whip up and is extremely easy! Enjoy a slice for breakfast in the morning or wrap up as great gifts for your family and friends. I brought this particular loaf to my office to share with my co-workers and I’m happy to say there was none left!! Feel free to add nuts or dried fruit to your mix for a great variation.
Did I mention I absolutely LOVE this time of year?? It doesn’t get much better than scarves, spiced lattes and the sweet aroma of delicious pumpkin bread! Hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!
Pumpkin Spice Bread
Here are your ingredients:
Recipe adapted from Bella So Savvy
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan and set aside.
Mix sugar, baking soda, spices and flour together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, blending well. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto cooling rack until completely cooled. Enjoy!
Thanks again Jill for inviting me to your fabulous blog to guest post!
Feel free to stop by my little bloggy anytime for more delicious recipes or even just to say hi!
Merci beaucoup, Kelly. I’m heading out to grab that pumpkin (we’ll just have to make our own purée since the French haven’t thought of this one!) and make this as soon as I can. Your colleagues are so lucky to have you around to taste this beauty, Kelly. Don’t forget to check out Eat Yourself Skinny for many more recipes and say bonjour from me! Enjoy your weekend.
Update: Apologies to all those who wanted to leave a comment and couldn’t.
We’ve had some crazy server problems so things have gone willy wonky.
Thanks so much for your patience!