We are now well into the summer and many of the seasons ingredients have a distinctly Mediterranean feel to them. Plump aubergines, bright red tomatoes, crisp peppers and firm courgettes dominate the market stalls. These ingredients have a natural affinity with each other, and are often combined in dishes such as ratatouille and caponata. They are, however, all capable of taking a star turn.
Aubergines can be baked until soft and chopped with spices and herbs to produce a wonderful puree that is delicious with grilled flatbread. Peppers can be stuffed and gratinated. Perfectly ripe plum tomatoes need little more than a twist of salt and pepper. For a real treat keep your eye out for baby courgettes with the flowers still attached. Stuffed and deep fried in a light tempura batter they epitomise summer eating.
Courgette Flower, Goats Cheese and Chive Tempura with Peach Chutney – serves 4
8 courgette flowers with baby courgettes attached
200g goats cheese, rind removed and processed until smooth
Chopped chives to taste
- Add the chopped chives to the goats cheese puree & wrap a small ball in the courgette flower.
- Dust in seasoned flower & dip into the tempura batter.
- Deep fry in hot vegetable oil (180C) until golden & crispy.
- Serve with a small salad & the peach chutney.
1cup iced water
1cup plain flour
½ cup corn flour
- Whisk the egg & then incorporate all the other ingredients.
125g onions – finely chopped
Zest 1 orange
juice 2 Oranges
300g caster sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
50g ginger – finely chopped
300ml white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 pinches saffron
750g peaches – peeled & chopped
- In a saucepan combine everything.
- Cover & cook gently for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Pour off any juice & boil it down to a syrup add back to chutney & bring back to boil.
- Pour into sterilised jars.