Sformata Zucchini

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 eggs
2 tbsp fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves striped from stems.

YIELD: 4 servings

COURSE: Appetizers Tapas Meze

CUISINE: Italian


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.