Stracciatella is an amazing, creamy and indulgent cheese — sort of like an even more milky burrata. It’s worth trying to seek some out from a cheesemonger or good deli for this dish, it works so well with the grilled courgettes, the herby chermoula and the tartness of the pickles. If you can’t get hold of any stracciatella you can still use burrata and it’ll taste just as great, or even greek yoghurt if you just want to use what’s lying around in the fridge.
Serves: 4-6 as a side
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Photography: Liam Desbois
Food Styling: Jodie Nixon
Prop Styling: Megan Thomson
2-3 courgettes, chopped into irregular pieces, about 2cm
Pinch of aleppo pepper
Jar of pickled peppers, drained (i used Perello)
For the chermoula
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seed
40g preserved lemon, halved, middles scooped out
2 garlic cloves
½ a lemon, juice
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Spread the hazelnuts out onto a baking tray and roast for about 15 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Remove and set aside to cool completely.
To make the chermoula, toast the cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium-low heat for 2 mins until fragrant. Add the toasted spices to a blender with the garlic, preserved lemon and lemon juice, and blitz until smooth. Then add in the fresh herbs and pulse quickly until a coarse paste forms. Season with salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, finely chop everything (excluding the spices) and mix through with some olive oil to ensure it doesn’t lose its vibrancy. Toast and add in the spices when you are ready to serve.
Wipe out the frying pan you used for the spices and place over a medium-high heat. Toss courgettes chunks with olive oil, salt and pepper, and fry for about 4 min on each side until charred and soft.
To serve, spread some straciatella on a plate or platter, top with chunks of courgette, lots of pickled peppers, roasted hazelnuts, a good sprinkle of aleppo pepper, and drizzle with the chermoula.