This traditional Italian appetizer is the first item we tackled at our San Gimignano cooking school
2 medium shallots, chopped
cooking spray, olive oil or butter based
3 small zucchinis
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter for sauteing
2 tbsp fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves striped from stems.
YIELD: 4 servings
COURSE: Appetizers Tapas Meze
Slice 1 zucchini longitudinally into very thin slices using a mandolin. You will need 8 slices. Set them aside.
Dice the other two zucchinis into roughly 1 cm dice.
- Lightly saute the shallots and diced zucchini until a little soft. Add a 1/4 cup of warm water and continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes until the water is evaporated. Remove from burner and set aside to cool a little.
- Finely chop the oregano and add it to the cooled zucchini mixture. Add 2 eggs, 1/4 cup cream, 1 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper to the mixture. Use a hand blender to puree the zucchini mixture. Prepare 4 ramekins by first spraying them with cooking spray and then dusting them with AP flour. Lay 2 zucchini slices crosswise in each ramekin. Then fill with the zucchini mixture and close the top with the overhanging zucchini pieces.
- Place the ramekins in a casserole dish. Fill the dish halfway up the ramekins with hot water. Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 20 minutes until risen and brown on top.
- While the sformatas are baking, make the Parmesan sauce by melting 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan in a saucepan. Bring the half cup of whipping cream to a boil land cook gently until the desired thickness is reached
- To serve, remove the sformatas from their ramekins, first loosening them by running a knife around the edges. Place on plate with a little Parmesan sauce on top and more on the plate. Make a decoration of an extra marjoram sprig, drops of Balsamic crema and a dash of paprika, as shown in the photo.