Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stuffed Courgettes

I've just made and eaten this. It's very moreish!

Stuffed courgettes

2 or 3 largish courgettes.
1½ tbsp virgin olive oil plus some for “drizzling”.
2 shallots or ½ small onion, finely chopped
1-3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
400g unskinned fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
200-400g Cooked or tinned cannellini beans, drained.
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
½ tsp crushed chilli flakes (optional)

50g wholemeal breadcrumbs
50g Parmesan or Italian-style hard cheese, freshly grated

Preparation method
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5.
Trim the ends from the courgettes, then cut them in half lengthways. Remove the soft centre flesh with a spoon or small sharp knife. Finely dice the removed courgette flesh and set aside.

Put the courgette halves in a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave for 2 minutes, then drain in a colander and arrange them, upright, in an oiled large ovenproof dish.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently cook the shallots or onions for 3–4 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, and diced courgette flesh and continue cooking over a low heat for a further 5 minutes until they are almost tender. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tomatoes, the cannellini beans, the coriander and the chilli flakes, if using, then season to taste.

Spoon the bean mixture into the courgette halves, piling it up on top.
Sprinkle the courgettes with a mixture of the breadcrumbs, cheese and a little freshly ground black pepper, if liked. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the courgettes are very tender and the breadcrumbs/cheese are crisp and brown.

When marrows are in season, use them in place of courgettes. Peel and cut a 1.5kg marrow into 9 rings, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Finely chop the flesh of 1 slice to add to the stuffing mixture, made with butter beans instead of cannellini. Stuff the remaining rings and bake as in the recipe.

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