Courgette and Creamcheese sushi rolls… without the rice

I love hosting dinner parties… I have no idea why, but the planning, cooking, table setting, glass cleaning gets me all excited and happy (little rays of sunshine leap off my chubby cheeks as I go about all these tasks).

I have 4 different dinner services – 8 pink and white;  6 green; 6 blue/yellow/green flowers and 12white. This includes side plates and dessert bowls (and in some cases – mugs). I also now own 13 rectangular white plates thanks to S*d the S*d (add your own vowels and the number should have been a dead give away on how it would last) and on a recent mission into town came across a fabulous home store and picked up 8 small and 8 medium white square plates (approx amuse bouche and starter sized).

So I have the tools to ensure that the food that I can create for the masses can be enjoyed off porcelain rather than paper plates… along with the 4 sets of cutlery that I own 🙂

But sometimes you need finger food… something to amuse the taste buds while I finish up the rest of the meal (known as Amuse Bouche by the French… they are single, bite-sized morsels which are different from appetizers as they can not be ordered off a menu, but are the chef’s selection! So I am loving this word – plus it translates to mouth amuser… ah, ok :)).

Another Gordon Ramsay recipe off the BBC Good Food Website – and this is his take on Italian antipasti… a way to *tantalize your palate without cooking*…love it! And this makes me think of sushi rolls – but without the rice 🙂

Cream cheese stuffed courgette rolls

4 small courgettes (ends trimmed)

3-4Tablespoons olive oil (plus extra to drizzle)

3-4Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

200g Cream Cheese (he uses ricotta – but I am a big fan of the Philly cheese)

Squeeze of lemon juice

handful fresh basil leaves

50g pine nuts, toasted

  1. Slice courgettes lengthways using vegetable peeler
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic over 2 large plates and lay strips flat, trying not to overlap
  3. sprinkle with more oil and balsamic, cover and leave to marinate in fridge for 20min
  4. Mix Cream cheese and lemon juice, and season
  5. Mix in Basil and pine nuts
  6. Place 1 teaspoon of the cheese mix into one end of courgette and roll up
  7. Repeat
  8. Arrange rolls upright on a plate and grind over some black pepper (drizzle with more oil and balsamic vinegar)

(To toast the pinenuts – tip into a hot frying pan – no oil needed, for 2-3minutes, shaking pan often until kernels are golden all over. tip onto a plate and leave to cool)

This recipe was featured in the Good Food magazine – August 2006 issue


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