Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Courgette with Bûche de Chèvre and Walnuts

Courgette with Bûche de Chèvre and Walnuts

Zucchini has been in season for several months already at the organic store, and a great cheese pairing with zucchini is chèvre (goat) cheese. You could pick any chevre, probably an aged one as opposed to a fresh one, I would save the fresh ones for a salad. The aged goat cheese intensify in flavor as they cook, or so it seems. And perception is everything!


1-2 Zucchinis
Bûche de Chèvre – a log of goat cheese, fresh or aged
Handful of Walnuts coarsely chopped
Olive Oil to cover Zucchini lightly
Fleur de sel to taste

Preheat over to 190˚C (375˚F) while chopping the walnuts and slicing zucchini in rounds (I slice mine about 3-5 cm thick  or ¼ inch, in other words, not too thin or they might get soggy in the oil.) 

Place zucchini rounds in a glass baking pan and sitr in the olive oil.

Bake for 15 -20 minutes, then for last 5 minutes gently mix in the chopped walnuts, chèvre and fleur de sel.

A few notes:

Extra Ingredient Mixing Ideas: (Because it’s fun to MIX!)
To make this recipe sweet, you can drizzle honey over all the ingredients once you’ve added the chevre, walnuts and salt.
To make this recipe spicier, dash a bit of cayenne pepper on top.
To make this recipe more colorful, add paprika, which has minimal flavor but adds that red dusty color.
To make this recipe more Basque, add piment d’espelette – a mild red pepper, adding a bit of flavor and color!

The photo below shows this dish along with Pommes Sarladaises and Magret de Canard à
l'Orange with homemade Plum Sauce from our own plum tree (watch for the upcoming recipes!), accompanied by a "Blanc" Pineau des Charentes liqueur from the Cognac region (usually served as an aperitif or with dessert, but I had it with my dinner!

Why Preheat the Oven? To get to the right temperature for cooking BEFORE you put the food in. So turn that oven on as you walk into the kitchen (some ovens take longer than others).

Why Cook at 190˚C (375˚F)? I cook everything at 190C, 375, it tends not to burn things but gets them cooked in a decent amount of time while locking in flavor (or maybe I’m just maing this up!)

Why Use Glass? For the oven, I use glass as much as possible to reduce the toxic load from treated metallic pans, as these usually have some coating which essentially is a plastic. Plastics leach their toxins into food, especially when heated or frozen.

Why Eat Organic? I try to use as many organic ingredients as possibly in all my cooking. Organic food has been grown using biodegradable substances (instead of persistent chemicals which do not biodegrade and remain in the environment and in us). Buying organic food tends to support smaller farmers using organic methods, and organic foods are generally not industrially genetically modified; they are “non-GMO.” Eating GMO foods (such as soy, corn and wheat) changes our own DNA expression and the proteins in GMO foods cause many adverse reactions and food sensitivities in many people and animals. Organic food tends to taste better overall. You can feel good about each bite, as opposed to non-organic food, whose growing methods and pesticide residue is utterly ambiguous to the consumer.

Disclaimer: The “health” information in this blog is not meant to cure any illness, but rather as information, to better understand the cooking process and my reasons for the choices I make.

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