Stuffed Courgette Flowers with Shellfish Salsa

Serge Baboulin, the talented chef at Le Perroquet in beautiful Juan les Pins on the French Riviera, created this dish.

Wine recommendations: Almost any dry rosé will work nicely with this dish. Here are some examples from Provence that we’ve enjoyed recently. –Joe Czerwinski
 

89 Domaine des Diables 2009 Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire; $18.
89 Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’ile de Saint-Tropez 2009 Château de Pampelonne (Côtes de Provence); $19.
88 Domaine Sorin 2009 Terra Amata (Côtes de Provence); $11. Best Buy.
88 Domaine Houchart 2009 Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire; $17.
00 Château Routas 2009 Rouvière (Coteaux Varois); $13.

Ingredients
  • For the courgette flower stuffing:
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 1/2 cups tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 12 courgette flowers, opened
  • For the shellfish salsa:
  • 24 mussels
  • 24 clams
  • 1/2 cup rosé wine
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling the tray
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 courgette, small, pared - green skin only
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Directions

The stuffing:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until soft but not colored.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes to the softened onions and garlic and cook over a high heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

3. Add in the breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mixing well. Season well with salt and cayenne pepper, then leave to cool.

The seafood salsa:
4. To make the shellfish salsa, wash and clean the mussels and clams. Place them in a pan with the Rosé wine.

5. Cover and cook the shellfish over the highest possible heat for about 4 minutes until they open, discarding any that don’t open. Reserve the cooking liquid.

6. Remove the mussels and clams from their shells, discarding the shells. Place the mussels and clams in a bowl.

7. Reduce the reserved cooking liquor by half and strain through a fine sieve over the mussels and clams.

8. In the same pan used to sauté the shellfish, stir in the remaining olive oil and lime juice. Add in the diced courgette, diced tomato and chopped coriander. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste, bearing in mind the saltiness of the shellfish liquid.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Stuff the courgette flowers with the tomato mixture (without worrying if they tear); turn the courgette flowers upside down on an oiled baking tray.
10. Bake the stuffed courgette flowers for 5 minutes. Serve warm from the oven with the shellfish salsa.

Published on July 20, 2010
About the Author
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