This glorious recipe by Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon is an unusual summer starter that makes spectacular use of fresh seasonal ingredients. Make sure to purchase organic tulips which have not been treated with any pesticides. Serve with a glass of Prosecco DOC to really kick off your summer dinner party in style!
- Nip out the stamans from the tulip flowers and check the petals are clean.
- Bring the water to the boil and stir in the tapioca and a little salt. Return to the boil, stir and simmer for 5 minutes until soft, and then drain.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the sugar snap peas, spring onions and dill. Set aside.
- Cook the peas in lightly salted water until soft. Drain the peas, reserving some of the water. Whizz the peas in a blender with the olive oil into a thick puree. Set aside.
- Soak the mushrooms in boiling water, just enough to cover, and leave until softened. This should take about 2 – 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry and finely chop.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry off the mushrooms for 2 – 3 minutes and season. Mix in the cooked tapioca and hard cheese, followed by the sugar snap peas, spring onion and dill.
- Leave the mushroom mixture to cool before spooning into the centre of the 4 tulip flowers. Reshape the petals around the filling.
- Put the pan to boil with a steamer basket fitted above. Place a disk of baking parchment on the base of the steaming basket and put the stuffed tulips and their stems on top.
- Steam for 30 – 40 seconds until the petals wilt, then carefully lift each stuffed flower and stem onto a plate.
- Reheat the pureed peas and serve alongside the tulips, garnished with a herby green salad.
For the tulips:
- 4 tulip flowers, with stems
- 50g button mushrooms
- 500ml water
- 3 spring onions
- 50g hard cheese, such as Grana Padano PDO
- 100g tapioca
- 200g shelled peas
- 100g sugar snap peas
- 3 sprigs of dill
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper, freshly ground
- Handful mixed salad leaves