65 Kitchen gar­den cook: cour­gettes

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Melanie John­son chooses cour­getti over spaghetti

In­gre­di­ents

225g plain flour 100g but­ter, cold and diced Salt A splash of ice wa­ter, if needed

2 cour­gettes 2 car­rots 1 aubergine, small 4 slices Parma ham

150g cream cheese with

gar­lic and herbs 1 egg, beaten 50g grated moz­zarella 50g grated Parme­san

4 an­chovies 1 clove gar­lic Juice and zest of 1 lemon 75g may­on­naise 50g grated Parme­san

A hand­ful of ca­per berries

Method

Start by mak­ing the pas­try, ide­ally by puls­ing all the in­gre­di­ents in a pro­ces­sor un­til they come to­gether to form dough. Al­ter­na­tively, rub the but­ter and the flour to­gether with your fin­ger­tips in a bowl un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs, add wa­ter if needed and bring to­gether in a ball, then tip out onto your work sur­face, wrap in cling­film and chill in the fridge un­til needed.

Cut the veg­eta­bles into long, thin strips us­ing ei­ther a veg­etable peeler or a man­dolin, then blanch the car­rot and aubergine slices in boil­ing wa­ter for a few min­utes un­til they’re soft and set aside. Next, mix the cream cheese, egg and cheeses in a bowl, add sea­son­ing and set that aside, too.

Pre­heat the oven to 180˚C/350˚ F/gas mark 4, re­trieve the pas­try from the fridge and roll it out to line a 10in tart case. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Line the pas­try case with bak­ing parch­ment, fill with bak­ing beans and blind bake for 15 min­utes. When cooked, re­move the tart case from the oven, spread the cream­cheese mix­ture over the base and ar­range the veg­etable slices on their sides so you can see the coloured edges, ad­ding the Parma ham among them. Start from the out­side and work your way in un­til you fin­ish with a tight spi­ral in the cen­tre. Put the tart back into the oven for a fur­ther 45 min­utes, cov­er­ing it loosely with foil if it starts to look too brown.

While the tart is cook­ing, make the Parme­san sauce by mash­ing the an­chovies and the gar­lic in a pes­tle and mor­tar, be­fore ad­ding the may­on­naise, lemon juice and grated Parme­san and mix­ing well.

Re­move the tart from the oven, cut it into slices, then serve with the Parme­san sauce and a few ca­per berries on the side.

Cour­gettes are one of my favourite veg­eta­bles. They’re easy to grow, fab­u­lously ver­sa­tile and en­joyed by the whole fam­ily. The main recipe this week is a real show­stop­per, so, next time you’re asked to take something along to a bar­be­cue this sum­mer, try this

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