Primavera Tulips
by Chef Pascal Aussignac, Cuisinier Gascon

4pcsTulip Flowers, long stems attached
--Sea Salt and Freshly Grounded Black Pepper
100grsSugar-Snap Pease
3pcsSpring Onions
3sprigsFresh Dill
200grsShelled fresh or frozen peas
3tbspOlive Oil
50grsButton Mushrooms
50grsParmesan Cheese, freshly grated

  • 1. First nip out the stamens from the tulip flowers. Check the petals are clean
  • 2. Put about 500ml water on to boil then stir in the tapioca and a little salt. Return to the boil then stir, and simmer for 4-5 minutes until soft. Drain.
  • 3. Meanwhile, finely chop the sugar-snap peas, spring onions and dill. Set aside.
  • 4. Cook the peas in about 500ml lightly salted water until just soft, about 8 minutes for fresh peas (5 minutes for frozen) then drain, reserving some of the water. Whizz in a blender with a tablespoon of oil until a thick puree, adding a little extra reserved water if necessary.
  • 5. Soak the mushrooms in boiling water just to cover, and leave until softened, about 2-3 minutes, then drain, pat dry and finely chop (if you were to use mousserons, plus a small knob of butter, they would produce a flavourful jus that would be perfect saved to sprinkle over the tulips at the end.) Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry off the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes then season. Mix in the cooked tapioca and Parmesan followed by the chopped sugar-snap peas, onions and dill.
  • 6. Leave to cool, then spoon the stuffing into the centre of the four tulip flowers. Re-shape the petals around the filling.
  • 7. Put a pan on to boil with a steamer basket fitted above. You might like to place a disc of baking parchment on the base of the steaming basket. Place the stuffed tulips and their stems on top.
  • 8. Steam for 30-40 seconds until the petals wilt, then carefully lift each stuffed flower and stem on to a plate. Reheat the mashed peas, if necessary, and serve alongside the tulips, garnished with a herby green salad.