Courgette flowers filled with nettles, sheep ricotta and speck – Fiori di zucca ripieni di ortiche, ricotta di pecora e speck

Yesterday it was my grandmother’s birthday, so I had a good occasion to try this new recipe, born from my imagination.

The title is so long that… you already know what I did!

However, the result was impressive: we really love the taste of this new family recipe.

I used (5 people):

– Courgette flowers (or zucchini flowers in american english), 18-20. The better thing it’s to buy them fresh, or to pick in your garden, in the morning when they are well opened.

– 300 g sheep ricotta

– 100 g stinging nettles (picking only the top)

– 1/4 chopped onion

– 2 eggs

– 75 g sliced speck (smoked ham typical of Tyrol)

– 20 g butter

– 200 g milk

– 20 g flour

– extra virgin olive oil

– salt, pepper

First, I washed the nettles in hot water (so they stop stinging), I chopped and cooked them in a large pan with oil and 1/4 chopped onion for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I mixed the ricotta and the eggs in bowl. Then I added the nettles, salt and pepper. I chopped the speck into pieces and add in the bowl. That’s it, you have the filling now.I washed the flowers (in cold water!), cut the stalks and filled them with the stuff in the bowl. I put them over an oven tray with baking paper and some tablespoons of oil.To complete, I made a liquid bechamel with 20 g of butter, 20 g of flour and 200 ml of milk, salt and pepper. I mix it with the left over in the bowl, and I
spread over the flowers (but you can spread only the bechamel).



I put it all in the oven, at 180°C for 30 minutes.

I served hot, with red rice.

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

Ieri era il compleanno di mia nonna così ho pensato di fare questa ricetta, che mi ero lavorata nella mente da qualche tempo.

Il titolo non è molto poetico, e… dice già tutto!

In ogni caso, il risultato è piaciuto molto in famiglia: il suo sapore ha saputo sorprenderci, e con ogni probabilità la ricetta verrà inserita tra quelle di famiglia! 😀 😀

Per 5 persone ho usato:

– 18-20 fiori di zucca (è meglio raccoglierli, o comprarli, al mattino perché sono aperti e si fa meno fatica a riempirli)

– 300 g di ricotta di pecora

– 100 g di ortiche (bisogna raccogliere solo la punta delle piante, la parte più tenera)

– 1/4 di cipolla, tagliata finemente

– 2 uova

– 75 g di speck a fette

– 20 g di burro

– 200 ml di latte

– 20 g di farina

– olio extra vergine di oliva

– sale, pepe

Per prima cosa, ho lavato le ortiche con l’acqua bollente (così che smettessero di pungere!) e le ho tagliate finemente. Ho fatto un soffritto di cipolla e le ho passate in padella per circa un quarto d’ora. Nel frattempo ho mescolato la ricotta con le uova in una ciotola. Ho poi aggiunto le ortiche, sale e pepe, e lo speck tagliato a cubetti. Ecco il ripieno!

Ho lavato i fiori (con acqua fredda), ho tagliato i gambi e li ho riempiti con la farcia. Li ho messi su una teglia sulla quale avevo steso della carta da forno con un po’ d’olio.

Per finire, ho fatto una besciamella liquida con 20 g di burro, 20 g di farina, 200 ml di latte, sale e pepe. Ho mescolato la besciamella con l’avanzo della farcia e ho spalmato il tutto sui fiori (si può mettere anche solo la besciamella). Ho poi cotto in forno a 180°C per 30 minuti.


Ho servito i fiori caldi, accompagnati da un po’ di riso rosso al burro.

With this recipe I enter the contest.. /Con questa ricetta partecipo al contest..

“I colori della primavera” del blog Ti cucino così

and the contest… / e al contest…

“Riscopriamo la primavera in tavola” del blog Una pasticciona in cucina

Spring courgettes

An everyday fresh taste recipe.

You need:

– Courgettes with flowers (I don’t know, but I hope, if you can find any  like mines – organic, fabulous and picked 10 minutes before!)

– Fresh garlic

– 1/2 onion

– Basil leaves

– Extra virgin olive oil and salt

Put 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, the 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, and some basil leaves (8-10). Add the flowers, chopped without the central part, and let brown for some minutes. Then add the courgettes, sliced. Cook without covering for 20 minutes, over a low flame. Add salt and serve.

Salmon and cod hearts

Voilà a perfect appetizer for a romantic dinner!

You need:

– Slices of sandwich loaf

– 1 packet smoked salmon

– 1 steak cod

– cheese spread (like Philadelphia)

– parsley

– extra virgin olive oil

– salt and black ground pepper

– lemon

To make the stock:

– parsley

– 1/2 stick celery

– 1/2 carrot

– whole peppercorns

– some cloves

– 1 leaf bay

– a bit of rosemary

– 1/4 onion

– 1 garlic clove

– salt

 

Cod hearts

Prepare a stock with 700 ml of cold water, some parsley, 1/2 stick of celery, 1/2 chopped carrot, 3 whole peppercorns (I use the rose one), 4 cloves, 1 leaf bay, a little bit of rosemary, 1/4 of onion, 1 garlic clove and salt. Put the cod into it and let it boil for 20 minutes, until the cod is cooked. (You can filter the stock and use it to make a seafood risotto as main course, or freeze it for a later use).

Take away the cod from the stock and let it cool down. Meanwhile, toast a bit the slices of bread.

When the cod is quite cool, put it into a blender with some parsley, a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt and ground pepper. Mix it all and taste until it’s right of oil, salt and pepper.

Take the toast and cut them into hearts, using an hearth-shaped cookie cutter. Spread the cod cream over the hearts and cover with another hearth.

Salmon hearts

Cut other bread hearts, spread them with the cheese spread. With the same cookie cutter, cut some smoked salmon hearths. I used 2-3 slices one upon the others to cut the hearts. Put the salmon hearts over the bread and cheese hearts. Put over them some drops of lemon juice, if you like.

 

Dispose the hearts in a plate and serve it. Perfect with a glass of Spumante!

 

Balsamic vinegar marinated asparagus – Asparagi marinati all’aceto balsamico

We usually eat cooked asparagus… but why not to eat them raw?

They are rich in mineral and vitamines (A, B, C, E), that became modified during the cooking process.

It’s a very simple and quick recipe.

You need:

– 2 or 3 asparagus par person

– Balsamic vinegar

– Extra virgin olive oil

– Salt and pepper

– Parmesan

Cut the asparagus until hard; wash and slice the edible part in very thin slices (but throw away the first and the last ones of each asparagus). Put them in a plate and cover them with a mixture of 2,5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil par person. Well spread the mixture over the asparagus, add some salt and let them marinate for 15-20 minutes.

 Toss a few times to let the asparagus marinate well. After that, take a small cup and press the asparagus slices into it.

It’s time to turn the small cup over the plate you want to take to the table. That’s it.

Put a little bit of oil over the asparagus, a light sprinkling of black pepper and arrange in the plate some parmesan flakes.

Bon apetit! Enjoy this very healthy, easy and vernal dish!

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

Siamo soliti consumare gli asparagi cotti… ma perché non provare a mangiarli crudi? Essi infatti sono ricchi di vitamine (A, B, C ed E) che si perdono -almeno in parte- con il processo di cottura.

Questa è una ricetta molto semplice e veloce, che però ci permette di assimilare tutte le proprietà vitaminiche di questa verdura originaria dell’Asia.

Servono:

– 2 o 3 asparagi per commensale

– Aceto balsamico

– Olio extra vergine di oliva

– Sale e pepe

– Parmigiano

Il primo passo è quello di togliere la parte dura di ogni asparago. Dopo averli lavati, ho tagliato ogni asparago in fettine molto sottili per il lungo (togliendo però la prima e l’ultima di ogni asparago). poi li ho disposti in un piatto e li ho cosparsi con un’emulsione che conteneva 2 cucchiai e mezzo di aceto balsamico e 1 cucchiaio di olio per persona. Ho aggiustato di sale e ho rigirato bene gli asparagi nell’emulsione. Li ho lasciati marinare per 15-20 minuti, rigirandoli ancora qualche volta. Poi li ho ben pressati in alcune coppettine, per dare un po’ di forma alla preparazione. Ho rovesciato ciascuna coppettina in un piatto, e ho completato il piatto con un filo d’olio, una spolverata di pepe nero e scaglie di parmigiano. E… buon appetito!

Come potete vedere, la ricetta è super facile e veloce, molto primaverile e davvero salutare!

With this recipe I enter the contest.. /Con questa ricetta pertecipo al contest..

“L’idea del mese…. te la do io!!!” La sfida di Maggio 

Roses Cupcakes

Yesterday I spent my spare time in the kitchen. The result are these cupcakes!

They are roses cupcakes.

My first step: make the rose syrup. I followed the recipe on this http://miarrangio.blogspot.it/2008/05/sciroppo-di-rose-preciso.html italian blog.

I picked 50 g of roses’ petal and covered them with half a liter of boiling water and 1/2 lemon. I covered the bowl. After 12 hours (but the recipe says 24) I put all the roses water (I squeezed the petals) in a pot with half a kilo of sugar. I boiled for 25 minutes. Then I filled 2 little bottes with the hot syrup (it’s a good present, isn’t it?). 

And I started to make the cupcakes.

I used a classic recipe, and I added the rose syrup.

– 100 g of butter

– 100 g of flour

– 60 g of sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1/2 sachet of baking powder

– grated zest of 1/4 lemon

– 4 tablespoons of rose syrup

Preheat the oven to 170° C and place the paper cases into the muffin tin. (I had only coloured paper cases, and it was weird for me to put them in the oven, so I covered the muffins moulds with butter and flour).

With an electric whisk beat the butter, add the sugar, the rose syrup and the lemon zest. Whisk well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before adding the next. Carefully fold in the flour and the baking powder. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. When cooked, lift them from the muffin moulds and let them cool down.

To make the icing I used:

– 75 g of butter

– 150 g of icing sugar (I blend the normal sugar at home)

– a little bit of grated lemon zest

– 4 tablespoons of rose syrup

– 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Using an electric whisk or a blender, beat the butter until very soft. Gradually add the icing sugar, the lemon zest, the syrup and the lemon juice.

When the cakes are cool, put the icing cream over them (I used a pastry bag). Put some drops of rose syrup over the cream, and an iced rose (see previous recipe).

These are my first cupcakes. I’m so proud, and my mother loved it!

What do you think, I passed the proof?

Icing roses

I’m sorry today I haven’t written a real recipe! The reason is: I’m in the countryside, in my family house. The weather is fantastic, sunny but not too hot. This afternoon, I went out to take some pictures and I stopped me to weed the strawberries greenhouse. I want them perfect and I can’t wait any more for them! For the moment, each plant has 4-5 little green fruits. A good start! 🙂 Then I had a tour in the garden, and I found little wild roses, so I thought about this “recipe”. I’m always been fascinated about ways to preserve the flowers beauty: flowers are so beautiful, perfumed, coloured, geometrically perfect… and they became old in 2 days. What a shame! I usually take a lot of pictures of them – I have an entire photo collection to hang up on a wall of my dreams’ house.

However, I’ve taken the little roses.

I’ve immersed them in a plate with 1 egg white, and then in a plate with icing sugar, well covering them. I think it would be better if I brushed them of egg white with a brush, it would be more accurate. But: more egg over the flower = more sugar!!

After covering them with the icing sugar, I’ve put them in a plate, that I’ve placed on the balcony for the sun to dry the flowers.

When dried, you can use them to decorate a dessert.

I have to admit, one of my roses lost an iced petal and I taste it… it was amazing! Sweetened (this is why I’m happy about “more sugar”) and with a full delicate taste of rose!!!