by guest blogger, Martine Bertin-Peterson,
This past weekend, I needed to bring a tasty potluck dish to a picnic. Although many guests bring the usual salads and other dishes requiring cutlery, I always opt for finger foods which are so much easier to manage, especially when balancing a glass of rosé in one hand. My other potluck criterion is that the dish needs to taste good at room temperature.
If you have zucchini taking over your garden, this is the perfect recipe for you, however zucchini is plentiful and inexpensive at local farmers’ markets and farm stands and is available almost all year round.
These Financiers aux Courgettes – little zucchini cakes – are perfect for a potluck or as appetizers. Typically in French cuisine, a financier is a small, airy cake, often with an almond flour base, that is eaten for dessert.
I prefer savory financiers which lend themselves to a myriad of combinations—sausage and cheese, spinach and cheese, olive, walnuts and cheese—the combinations are limited only by your imagination. We often prepare financiers as hors d’oeuvres in my Farmers’ Market-to-Table cooking classes.
These financiers are redolent of basil and garlic and get their salty kick from the addition of good-quality feta cheese. You don’t need a picnic to prepare these tasty bites, they work well as hors d’oeuvres or on a buffet table at any season.
Financiers aux Courgettes
1 medium zucchini (about ½ lb)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flour
½ cup heavy cream
3 oz good feta cheese
generous handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
pinch of nutmeg
freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together the eggs, cream, nutmeg and pepper. Add flour and whisk to blend.
- Top and tail the zucchini and grate it in a food processor or box grater. Place zucchini into a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Add zucchini, garlic, basil and feta cheese to batter and gently mix to blend.
- Pour batter into a 12 piece silicon financier baking mold (available at cookware shops or online) and bake for 25 minutes. Allow the financiers to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Invert financiers onto a plate. Serve at room temperature as an appetizer.
Martine Bertin-Peterson has the best of both worlds. She organizes amazing culinary trips to France, focusing on food and wine, and she teaches how to make simple, Mediterranean-inspired dishes in her cooking classes here in Bucks County. You can also get more delicious recipes on her blog, Bucks County Foodie.