Courgette Bake with tomatoes:

Courgette Bake with tomatoes:

Prep:           10 mins.

Cooking:      30 mins.

Course:        Main

Serves:        6

Rating:         3:  Moderate

Find:

  • 6 Courgettes or a marrow
  • Onion
  • Can of tomatoes
  • Shelled walnuts, pine nuts, etc
  • Oil
  • Seasonings
  • Extra bits – see text
  • Frying pan
  • Oven dish

Method:

  • Simple, really… slice an onion and courgettes or a marrow with the seeds removed, cut and slice it/chop it and fry it all off in a pan, low and slow for about ten minutes.
  • Add a can of tomatoes and you have the base. As all ingredients are soft in texture, you need to add a bit of bite.
  • Add walnuts/pine nuts, fried off and chopped, perhaps a bit of goat’s cheese or something else tasty, put all into an oven dish and top with a bit of cheese.
  • Oven bake for 15 mins gas Mk 5 and you have a nice veggie meal – perhaps accompanied by rice or pasta.

Multi-coloured Courgette Canoes:

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

Serves:        4

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

METHOD:

  • 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.