Koj (Andrew Kojima), the brilliant Cotswold chef, introduced us to shiso.
This extraordinary Japanese herb adds great interest to dishes as you roll through the flavours that open up – is that basil, or mint, or coriander or…….! With courgettes in profusion at this time of year we are always looking for new ways to enjoy them. Here is one of them…
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely sliced
- 1kg courgettes, chopped into small chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Handful of basil leaves and handful of mint leaves roughly chopped (or if you can find it… small handful of shiso leaves)
- 75g ricotta, plus 2tbsp extra to serve
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 30ml stratta shiso vinegar
- 4 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano
Heat the oil in a large pan; fry the onion and courgettes over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until softened and slightly browned.
Add the garlic and basil or shiso stalks, season with salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the ricotta, stock, stratta shiso vinegar, most of the mint and basil leaves (or shiso leaves) and 250ml water.
Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes until everything is tender.
Blitz with a hand blender until smooth.
Stir in the cheese and season.
Serve in bowls with the remaining ricotta and torn mint and basil (or shiso) leaves.