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MasterChef Australia

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Episode 16 - Stuffed Zucchini Flower

Melita Tough

Stuffed Zucchini Flower with Capsicum Ragout and Capsicum Nage

Serves 4


Homemade Ricotta

2L milk

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

2 egg yolks

1/2 bunch basil, leaves picked and finely sliced

3 tbsp cream

salt and pepper, to taste


Carrot Curd

200 grams purple carrots, juiced

1 tbsp lemon juice

sprig thyme

2 egg yolk

30g butter

salt and pepper, to taste



2 small red capsicum, peeled, skin reserved and flesh finely diced

160g butter

2 salad onions, white bulbs finely diced, green tops finely sliced

4 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary

250ml verjuice



1 small salad onion, white bulbs finely diced, green tops finely sliced

1 large capsicum, finely diced

1 green tomato, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons verjuice

1/2 cup basil leaves, finely sliced

salt and pepper, to taste


Zucchini flowers

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

125g plain flour

200ml water

3 ice cubes

12 zucchini flowers

Salt and pepper, to taste



Purple basil leaves

thyme flowers


  • For the ricotta, bring milk to just under boiling point. Remove from heat and immediately add 3 tbsp lemon juice, stirring to allow the curd to separate. Leave to sit for 15 minutes then strain through muslin for 15 minutes, discarding liquid. Squeeze ricotta gently and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining lemon juice and zest, egg yolks, basil leaves and cream. Season to taste and transfer to a piping bag. Set aside in the fridge.
  • For the carrot curd, place carrot juice, lemon juice, thyme, and egg yolk in a mixing bowl and whisk over simmering water until thickened. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in butter. Season to taste. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside in fridge to cool.
  • For the nage, thinly slice the capsicum skin. Melt 60 grams butter in a medium saucepan and gently cook capsicum, capsicum skin and onion until softened. Add thyme and rosemary and cook for a further 2 minutes. Deglaze with verjuice and reduce to half of the original amount. Add 750mls water and simmer uncovered until you have approximately 125mls of liquid. Remove from heat and strain through muslin, squeezing gently to extract liquid. Whisk in remaining butter, season and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, for the ragout, add onion, capsicum and green tomatoes to a medium frypan. Add 2 tbsp water and cook slowly until very soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add verjuice and reduce until thickened. Add basil leaves and season. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • For the zucchini flower, heat oil to 180C. Combine flour, pinch of salt and water to make a thin batter. Add ice cubes to cool the batter.
  • Gently open zucchini petals and pipe ricotta mixture into the flower head. Twist the petals to close and dip into batter. Fry in oil until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside on paper towel.
  • To assemble, pour nage into serving bowl. Place spoonful of ragout in the middle of the bowl and lay zucchini flowers on top. Squeeze a dollop of curd to the side and garnish with purple basil and thyme flowers.