The peppery nasturtium leaves are what makes this dish extra special but if you can’t find nasturtium, swap it for rocket leaves. The pesto pairs really well with grilled vegetables and fish, so feel free to double up on the quantity and store refrigerated. Sealed with a little oil, it’ll keep in your fridge for up to 3 days.
2 courgettes, deseeded and cut into 1½ cm half moons (400g)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
5g basil leaves, bruised between your fingers
5g mint leaves, bruised between your fingers
1 lemon; 1 tsp finely grated zest, 1 tbsp juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Pumpkin seed brittle:
160g pumpkin seeds, toasted
50ml maple syrup
¼ tsp Aleppo chilli flakes
50ml double cream
10g mint leaves
30g basil leaves
80g nasturtium leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
40ml apple vinegar
40ml olive oil
2 tbsp picked basil leaves, nasturtium leaves and nasturtium flowers
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
1. First, start with the courgettes. Place the courgettes with the garlic, basil, mint and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Mix well and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain the courgettes, discarding the garlic, basil and mint and any liquid released. Pat the courgettes dry and place back in the bowl with the lemon zest and juice, 1 tablespoon of oil and a good grind of pepper. Mix well and set aside.
2. Meanwhile make the brittle. Place the maple syrup in a small saucepan on medium heat and once bubbling, stir in 100 grams of the pumpkin seeds, the Aleppo chilli and ⅛ teaspoon of salt. Mix well, take off the heat and spread as thinly as you can on a large parchment lined tray. Set aside to cool and, once cool, roughly chop.
3. To make the pesto, place the mint, basil, nasturtium, garlic and remaining 60 grams of pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Pulse until you get a coarse paste then transfer to a small bowl and stir in the vinegar, oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
4. Place the ricotta and double cream in a medium bowl with ⅛ teaspoon of salt and mix well.
5. To assemble, spoon the ricotta mixture on a large lipped platter. Stir half the pesto into the courgette bowl and arrange on top of the ricotta. Spoon over the remaining pesto, top with the brittle and scatter over the picked leaves and flowers.