I’m currently cooking my way through Mary Berry’s Complete Cook Book, which the Pragmatist gave/lent to me when I moved out for my first full-time job. I wanted to document the experience as a kind of cooking diary, and so “The English Student Cooks” was born. This will be an irregular feature, as I only cook when I’m home on my days off, which is Not That Often.
Mediteranean Courgette Pie
Method: I grated two courgettes, left them to drain in a colander for ten minutes and squeezed the liquid out before mixing them with half a ball of grated mozzarella, about 60g of grated Parmesan, two tablespoons of green pesto, two chopped-up cloves of garlic (we don’t have a garlic crusher) and two beaten eggs. The mixture went in a glass pie dish, topped with half a 500g block of puff pastry (rolled out, obviously, and brushed with a bit of the egg) and into the oven for twenty minutes.
Substitutions/alterations: I didn’t have the right size dish for the recipe, so I did about 70% of all the quantities (the dish I ended up using had 70% of the area of the one specified in the book). I also didn’t have any mint, which was supposed to go in the filling, because I thought I’d bought mint in Asda (since it was in the section labelled “Mint”) but it turned out to be Italian seasoning. Which was annoying.
Verdict: I had my doubts. They were clearly sacrilegious ones; I must learn to trust Mary Berry better. It didn’t taste nearly as bad as I feared: it’s garlicky and cheesy and pesto-y. I couldn’t taste much courgette, though, and the pastry wasn’t cooked through. I haven’t cooked with puff pastry before, though, so I’m giving myself a pass on that one.
It’s quite a fiddly, messy dish, though, what with all the grating and the squeezing of the courgette; it would be a good one to use up leftovers, but I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to make it again.