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Deep fried sun dried tomatoes served on a basil pesto mousse

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  • 145g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

  • 1 thyme sprig

  • 100g fresh basil pesto

  • 100g cream cheese

  • 2 sun dried tomatoes in oil, separated into halves

  • 70g gorgonzola cheese

  • 2 walnuts, halved

  • 50g plain flour

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 100g finely toasted breadcrumbs

  • 500ml vegetable oil

  • Pepper to taste


  • For the Parmesan baskets::

  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / gas mark 4.

  • 2.

    To prepare the baskets, divide the cheese in 2 x 12cm diameter rings on a baking sheet, spaced 3cm apart. Pick the leaves from the thyme sprig and sprinkle over the cheese piles.

  • 3.

    Bake in oven for 4-5 minutes until just melted, lacy and golden.  Allow to cool slightly then put each crisp over a cup or mould so they form cones. Once fully cool they will hold their shape.

  • For the basil pesto mousse::

  • 1.

    In a bowl, fold the pesto into the cream cheese. Add pepper to taste.

  • For the stuffed sun dried tomatoes::

  • 1.

    Lay a tomato half skin side down on a board. Add a layer of gorgonzola, a walnut half, another layer of gorgonzola, then a tomato half with the skin side up. Squeeze tightly.

  • 2.

    Coat in the flour first, dip into the beaten egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Chill for 10 minutes to set the cheese then deep fry until crispy all over (approx 2 minutes).

  • To serve::

  • 1.

    To serve, place some of the basil pesto mousse in each Parmesan cup and top with two deep fried sun dried tomatoes each. Garnish with thyme.

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