A combination of zucchinis almost overcooked with cumin powder, and a smooth parmesan cream. Indeed very tasty. I always have a great success with this recipe.
It became very fancy in France to serve appetizers, even starters or desserts, in individual glasses, called verrines in French (verre is a glass in French, and when you add the ine suffix, it means something little). Unlikely many fashions, this one remains. It’s indeed quite interesting and allow many creations, neatly presented.
I’ve imagined this recipe last spring for the French “Neighbors feast” (la fête des voisins) held each year the last Friday evening of May. A great French invention now expanding in other European countries. For the French, gastronomy is not only the haute cuisine with stared chefs, expensive products and incredible dishes impossible to reproduce at home. It’s a daily art de vivre where food, the pleasure of cooking and sharing is everywhere, food being synonym to conviviality and nice moments. This fest is one of them, a great opportunity to meet neighbors and share a good time with people close to us but that we might not meet in our day to day busy lives. The principle is simple : everyone brings his dinner (preferably homemade, cooking his own specialties) and everything is put together and shared. Streets are often closed so that tables and chairs can be set outside. On top of meeting people, you can discover many tasty and interesting dishes.
It started in 1999 with 800 buildings in Paris, and little by little became a real institution all over France. I think you’ve understood that I’m a big fan.
The interesting thing of this recipe is that the preparations can be made in advance, assembled at the last moment in the verrine individual glasses. And it was actually my situation with the fête des voisins held after a long working day.
A few information in this recipe.
- The quantity of cumin and parmesan might seem huge to you but it’s not a mistake, those are really the proportions I use.
- In this recipe I like zucchinis very soft, almost overcooked, somewhat candied/confit and losing their shape becoming like a purée. It’s also easier to prepare the verrines. Up to you depending on your taste. The cooking time will change according to how cooked you want zucchinis and how high is your fire.
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 to 45 min
Quantity: 8 shares
Specific equipment: none
4 large zucchinis
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper
For the parmesan cream
10 cl cream
90 gr finely grated parmesan
Cut vegetables and cook in olive oil with cumin. Combine cream and parmesan. Serve in individual glasses.
Heat olive oil in a large casserole or skillet. Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile cut zucchinis into small cubes or strips (the smallest they are, the quickest the cooking time will be).
Add the zucchini, salt, pepper and cumin and fry. Cook over medium heat until zucchinis are cooked, or as I said earlier almost overcooked. When cooked, leave to cool down.
In a bowl, combine the cream and parmesan. Set in the refrigerator.
Prepare the verrines by putting 3/4 to 4/5 vegetables and cover with parmesan cream. Reserve in refrigerator.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.