Courtesy Raphael Francois, chef, Tesse, Los Angeles
Chef Francois garnishes this dish with tempura zucchini flowers, but raw ones are beautiful too, if you have them.
- 10 pitted Medjool dates
- 3 large zucchini, diced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan and garnish
- 2 packed cups spinach, chopped
- 3 ounces Parmesan, grated
- 1 burrata (about 8 ounces), quartered
- Zucchini flowers, optional
In a blender or food processor, blend dates, drizzling in water as needed to make soft purée. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
Coat large sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and pinch of salt, and cook until tender, 2–3 minutes. Set 1/3 of zucchini aside. Add spinach to pan, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer zucchini-spinach mixture to food processor with Parmesan and ¼ cup oil, and purée until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Toss reserved zucchini with generous amount of pesto.
Place zucchini and burrata on serving plate. Garnish with date purée, olive oil, salt and zucchini flowers, if using. Serves 2–4 as an appetizer.
Remoissenet Père et Fils 2016 Blanc (Santenay). “This wine is medium-bodied and quite herbal and floral, which pairs so well with this dish,” says Jordan Ogron, Tesse’s wine director and co-owner. “The zucchini pesto is what makes this pairing a homerun—its herbal notes make the wine shine, and the creaminess of the burrata complements the similar quality in the wine.”