Multi-coloured Courgette Canoes:
As a vegetable dish, why not try multi-coloured courgette canoes. This will turn the heads of most people – especially good for the veggie-types.
Prep: 1 hour (it’s not difficult, just an amount of fiddling…..)
Cooking: 1 hour.
Course: Starter or main
Rating: 2: Easy
Find for two people:-
- 4 medium sized green or coloured courgettes (as straight as possible)
- Half of each a red, green and yellow peppers – as wrinkly as you like
- Red onion
- Garlic – I used 3 big cloves
- Aubergine (optional)
- Leek (optional)
- Mushrooms (optional)
- Cepes (optional)
- Sweet potato (optional) – these ‘optional’ veg may be used as variations of the ‘canoe’ theme, alternatively, use a bit of each!
- Oil (I prefer olive, but you use what you want to – except engine/baby)
- Possibly pine nuts or sesame seeds to add texture to the mixture
- Black olives for each end of each canoe, if you want to trim the courgette ends off.
- Other bits I haven’t even thought of yet….give me time……
- Oven (roasting) tin
- Ceramic serving/oven dishes
- Split the plumpish courgettes straight down the middle, lengthwise. Leave their ends on – or cut the ends off and use pitted black olives to bung up the open ends. I like the olives…….
- Spoon out the seedy middles so that you have about a 6mm (1/4”) thick wall of flesh all the way down the courgette. You can incorporate the middles in the mixture…..or not, as you wish. I do.
- Liberally sprinkle black pepper into the eight empty ‘canoes’, aad a small mountof oil and then season with sea salt.
- I cooked them in a hot oven for 20 mins at this point. If you prefer your courgettes to be firmer, omit this bit.
- Here we go with the wrinkly ‘reduced cabinet’ peppers again. Put half of a green, yellow and a red pepper, cut into chunky squares, a couple of small red onions or one large one cut into quite big chunks, a few wrinkly mushrooms (they don’t HAVE TO be wrinkly, it’s just that if they are, it’s fine…), pine nuts or sesame seeds and the middles from the courgettes into a frying pan with a big glug of olive oil and fry until lovely and soft. You might, if you have time, like to remove the skins (see Tricks’n’Tips) from the peppers first – whilst it lessens the visual impact of the colour it means that you don’t have indigestible pepper skins in the dish, eventually sticking to your teeth!……. Your choice.
- When the mixture is cooked down nicely, drizzle a little olive oil and tiny drop of water into each of the canoes and spoon the mixture in evenly. Heap it up.
- Season well and put the filled canoes into an oiled roasting tin or oven dish sprinkled with water. It helps to have a container that is just big enough for all of the canoes, so that the courgettes are being held in shape and supported by the sides of the dish.
- You can sprinkle with parmesan at this point, should you wish.
- Pop ’em into a pre-heated 200 degree C oven so that the courgettes cook in their own steam for an hour or so. If you use a presentable dish, they come straight out to the table looking rather nice.
And there you are; pair of them on saffron basmati rice as a veggie main course, using any combination of butter-fried aubergine, sautéed leek, sweet potato, shitake/wild mushrooms and pine nuts as a filling, or anything else for that matter. You have the use of the canoe as the container – fill it with something nice.
The pic shows them presented on lentils and baked aubergine slices, having been grilled for ten minutes.