This creamy vegetarian spread is the perfect match with a good glass of red wine. The braised courgette baked with pecorino and black olives creates a rich and flavourful combination. Serve it with some fresh bread or crackers as a starter to let your guests warm up and get comfortable. It could also be a good trick to win some time to finish everything up for the dinner. As a bonus you can also just make it one or two days ahead to save some extra time for yourself.
Pecorino is a hard Italian sheep cheese with a tangy nutty flavour. I really like this taste in the spread, but if you can`t find pecorino you could just change it to the same amount of parmesan cheese in the recipe.
The pathé is baked in the oven in a water bath. I was curious if my little pots would make it, but I really wanted to give it a try. In the end they passed the test and nothing broke, but make sure to use a thick pot for this. If you make them in glass jars always be careful: don`t expose them to sudden temperature changes, but let them cool down slowly. If you don`t have a thick glass jar with a lid you can use a small oven dish that you cover with tin foil.
Ingredients (for 6-8 people)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium courgette (about 300 grams)
- 100 grams pecorino cheese
- 20 grams mild cheese (like young gouda)
- 50 grams black olives (plus a few extra for serving)
- basil leaves
- fresh bread
Preheat oven to 180 C. Fill a bigger ovenproof dish halfway with water. Check with the jars that you will use for the pathé . When you put the glass jars in the water they should be covered until about ¾. This will be the water bath for the baking. Put it in the warming oven so that the water can already start warming up.
Chop and braise courgette in olive oil for about 15 minutes then tip into a blender.
Grate both cheeses, drain black olives and add to the courgette. Blitz for a minute until smooth. Add to smaller glass jars and carefully place them in the water bath in the oven (remove rubber parts from the jar). If too much water evaporated fill the bath up a bit. Bake for 30 minutes then let it cool down to room temperature in the water.
Serve it sprinkled with basil leaves and a few olives.
If you want to prepare it in advance you can keep it in the fridge for a few days. Take it out an hour ahead and let it come to room temperature before serving.