Vegetable garden couscous

This recipe for a cold course gives honour to early summer vegetables

Corn couscous with smoked almond milk curdle, drie

Corn couscous with smoked almond milk curdle, dried courgette flowers, vegetables, one of the two dishes thanks to which, on Sunday June 22nd at restaurant Joia in Milan, Daniela Cicioni won the first edition of The Vegetarian Chance, created and organised by Pietro Leemann and Gabriele Eschenazi

A couscous to be served warm or cold, that gives honour to early summer vegetables, first of all mange tout peas, but also wild herbs. On top of the corn crown, some smoked curdle and dried courgette flowers act as a contrast, followed by the freshness of the cucumber, mint and parietaria.

Corn couscous with smoked almond milk curdle, dried courgette flowers, vegetables

Recipe for 4 people

280 g corn couscous
160 g smoked almond curdle (1*)
Vegetable stock made with leek, celery, carrot, bay leaves, juniper, sage and fennel seeds
300 g courgettes cut into 5 mm cubes
160 g French beans blanched for 4 minutes in salted water and cut into 5 mm pieces
100 g mange tout peas blanched for 2 minutes in salted water
160 g peas blanched for 3 minutes in salted water

50 g green celery cut into 3 mm cubes
120 g leek cut into 5 mm
0 g chives
80 g extra virgin olive oil
120 g cucumber, parietaria and wild mint emulsion with pine nuts and olive oil (2*)
zest of 4 lemons
1 bag of powdered saffron
4 table spoons of nigella sativa, cumin, fennel, coriander, wild garlic, green curry, pepper
1 bunch of fresh, chopped mint, marjoram, thyme, basil
Courgette flowers previously oiled, salted and dried at 42°C
Fresh mauve flowers

Cucumber and mint emulsion
20 g pine nuts
50 g parietaria
200 g carosello cucumbers, peeled and without the central seeds
5 ml lemon juice
40 g extra virgin olive oil
20 g of mixed mint and basil leaves
Blend until you obtain a smooth emulsion.

Pietro Leemann gives the award to Daniela Cicioni

Pietro Leemann gives the award to Daniela Cicioni

Smoked almond curdle
1 l almond milk
40 ml apple vinegar
2,5 g salt
Bring the almond milk to 85°C. When it has reached 80°C, add salt and mix. At 85°C pour the vinegar and mix 2-3 times with a wooden spoon, turn off the flame and cover. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. Place a cloth on a strainer and lean it over a bowl. Using a ladle, pour the curdled liquid (two or three ladles per time). The serum will continue to come out for two more days. Close and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Cold smoke for 3 minutes using cherry wood.

Boil the vegetable stock, pour the chopped spices, 40 g of oil, the saffron, the corn then turn off the flame. Mix and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Pan-fry the courgettes and leeks with oil. Season the curdle with the finely chopped chives. Separate the couscous grains, add the vegetables, the peas, the aromatic herbs, the lemon zest and the celery.
Place 30 g of cucumber and mint emulsion on the base of each dish, put the couscous on top, distribute 40 g of curdle divided into 7 sprigs. Place the courgette and mauve flowers.


Healthy, natural and vegetarian cuisine


Daniela Cicioni

Vegan and rawist chef based in Como

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