Steamed Zucchini Basket Weave Parcels

    35 minutes

    If I have a fault it is that if I see a dish or technique on TV then I get convinced that I can do it. This is not an original idea and it first appeared for me on an episode of MasterChef. It is fiddly and time-consuming but the results are impressive and will wow your dinner guests.

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    Serves: 3 

    • 4 shallots
    • 12 button mushrooms
    • 12 black olives, pitted
    • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
    • 1 smoked mackerel, flaked
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2 zucchini

    Preparation:25min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. Blitz the shallots, mushrooms and olives in a food processor until chopped. Fry them gently in a drizzle of oil in a frying pan for 10 minutes, then add the tomato puree, flaked mackerel and seasoning. Set aside to cool.
    2. Using a potato peeler cut thin slivers of courgette. You'll need pieces about 10cm long so use the straightest part of each zucchini. Cut each slice lengthwise into strips about 3 to 5mm wide. For each parcel you will need 12 pieces.
    3. Place 6 strips onto a square of plastic wrap with a narrow gap between each.
    4. Mentally label these strips as 1-6. Using a cocktail stick or wooden kebab skewer carefully lift up and double back strips 1, 3 and 5. Place a new strip at right angles across.
    5. Lay strips 1, 3 and 5 back down over the top of the new strip. Lift up and double back strips 2, 4 and 6. Lay a second horizontal strip.
    6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have 6 horizontal strips in place.
    7. Place an egg sized dollop of the stuffing in the centre of the weave.
    8. Carefully lift up and fold over the tails of the strips. Don't worry too much here as this is the bottom of the parcel. The neat and tidy side is underneath.
    9. Lift the four corners of the plastic wrap and pull tight and twist to close.
    10. Place in a steamer and steam over boiling water for 10 minutes. Carefully cut open and remove the plastic wrap and turn upside down on the plate.


    This is a side dish so create the stuffing to complement your main ingredient. I haven't tried it but I'm sure cucumber could be used instead and could be served cold as part of a picnic.

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