Food and rain

Most people like stuffed vegetables. Apart from Partner. My parents weren’t too keen on stuffed peppers, especially when they were vegetarian (the peppers, not my parents). Last time I cooked for them.

However, Picky Partner did enjoy stuffed courgettes the other day.

The fridge was pretty bare, but I did have a large courgette that José had given me the previous week. Plus Partner had bought some nice setas (oyster mushrooms?) from the local Gib veg shop. £3 a kilo if anyone’s interested.

Stuffing ingredients

Whatever you want, really, but I used:
Setas
A spoonful of leftover bolognaise sauce
Onion
Garlic
Fine herbes
Ground almonds
and
Scooped out courgettes

Other suggested ingredients would be ordinary mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms, tempeh or tempeh rashers, TVP, or any other ground nuts eg hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews.

Non-vegetarians/non-vegans can work out their own choices.

Method

Chop onion, setas and garlic, add to pan with olive oil (I use extra virgin)
Chop courgette in half if using a large one
Scoop out the inside leaving a lip at each end
Chop and add to pan, along with rest of ingredients
Realise there aren’t enough setas so add more

When suitably tasty and cooked through, fill courgette boats

Make sauce

Chop onion and setas (leave them slightly chunkier) and add to same pan, using more EVOO
When they’ve started to cook add a spoonful of flour, stir, cook, etc
Add dissolved yeast extract or veg stock to pan to make sauce in which to simmer courgettes
Add courgette boats to sauce, cook until ready, may need to top up with extra water during cooking

Serve with whatever, we had basmati rice.

This is quite a ‘meaty’ vegan version using setas, nuts and yeast extract for sauce. Veg stock, eg Vecon, will give a lighter sauce. Or, cook in plain veg stock, rather than thickening it with flour. But, it’s winter so I wanted something warming and hearty.

Other variations are:

Use cucumbers for the boats, or using small courgettes, core the centre and stuff them that way. Boats provide more flexibility for stuffing though.

Make a yoghurt or soya milk based sauce with mushrooms.

Use a tomato sauce to cook the courgettes, but change the stuffing to reflect that. Eg, basil, tomatoes, white mushrooms, and tempeh.

Garden in Spain

Meanwhile back in Spain we indulged in paella twice in one week. I cook differently in the two places.

While the onion seeds failed to germinate, as did 99% of the carrots, my garlics seemed to be doing well.

So, I took one of the plants to use in the first paella. OK, it was too immature, even for young garlic, but I couldn’t resist it.

I first came across fresh/young/green garlic at my local village shop (now sadly gone) some years ago. It’s a great way to thin out garlic crops, ie pulling some of the young ones and letting the others go on to mature. It also has a delicious flavour. I’ve planted a few heads in succession, about a couple of weeks apart.

More info and a pic of when you should pull it, ie at spring onion stage.

The potatoes were doing well too. And the nasturtiums – flowers and leaves went into salads, although I haven’t got round to pickling seedpods like capers. A future project.

And, back to Gib, and rain. Naturally I timed my evening walk with the rain. As did quite a few others surprisingly, at around 7–7.30.

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101 comments on “Food and rain

  1. Learned something new! Courgette. . zucchini! Around here, that’s the vegetable everyone is giving away. .they grow very well and always germinate. I slice them up for stir-fries but my favourite use for them is in chocolate cake.(grated – I use 2 c of it in the recipe!). The food looks delicious and your plants look happy. :)

    Nasturtiums – our daughter had cupcakes at her wedding and we used nasturtiums from the neighbour to decorate them; big hit, (and gorgeous!) although I don’t think too many people ate them (we did!). They really brighten up a salad.

    Love the pics of the rain-slicked cobblestone streets; we’ve got lots of snow today (school was cancelled, as it was a ‘storm day’).

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    • Yeah, I know both names, but English is courgette. Spanish is calabacin. Agree, they are good in stir dry, we had one last night although no courgette as I’d used up. My plants should be happy, I love them lots and don’t give them nasty chemicals.

      Nasturtium flowers are stunning as food (and taste good). The other ones are stuffed courgette flowers, which I’ve never done, and rose petals.

      I like the rain, and love the lighting effect, as you mention too. Snow? No. Not here :D get out your skis :)

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  2. Love the glistening street shots. Even if one is getting sick of being rained on, it does look very atmospheric in photos :) Also good to see your garden growing. Mine is squelching.

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  3. Those rainy photographs were lovely – took me back to working in London.

    Having suffered mother’s stuffed marrow when young I think I had an aversion to the idea of stuffed veg….but came round to the idea when French friends served stuffed peppers and aubergines.
    Did I spot broad beans in that pan?

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    • Yes, I think it rained a lot in London when I was there. Certainly that or the pollution destroyed my Barbour :(
      Never had stuffed marrow when young. Only ever baked with butter in the oven. Nice.
      Had a brilliant baked avocado. Once. Somewhere.
      Yes. My paella of choice includes peas and beans, or peas and something else. Whatever is fresh and local really. Other options are alcachofas or asparagus.

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      • My memories of working in London seem to centre on rainy evenings…there has to have been sunshine…but perhaps I was indoors at the time.
        Stuffed marrow….the blasted thing seemed to leer at you as it emerged from the oven….
        I miss broad beans…we must be at the wrong height or have the wrong daylight hours as they flower…and that’s it..
        We can see climate change at work here…we used to be too cool for coconuts to germinate…this year they are germinating like mad things

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        • Actually I remember endless sunny summers when I was stuck inside an office :(
          I only started eating broad beans and peas in Spain. I miss scarlet runners. Am considering ordering some from UK. Habachuelas are tasteless.
          Climate change happens regardless, just sometimes it may be exacerbated by greedy people.

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    • :) ☔️
      It’s pretty warm rain. Normally it isn’t blustery. I went out in shorts and without a waterproof. I remember hiking in Northumbria in dire freezing cold rain. Ugh. But yes, here rain is beautiful. And, thanks.

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  4. Waiting on some stuffed bell peppers to finish up now. (Haven’t used ground almonds much but must try. Good idea)
    Ah, veggies and dreams of summer. (but not too soon, please – even with the rain, cool is welcomed change)
    Three days of sun in a row. We may faint from happiness.
    I love your night walk pictures. Interesting place to walk – always something to see…you do get where you can notice the smallest changes on a regular route. How funny is that…seems like we laughed about my grandmother’s notice of stuff like that.

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    • Most ground nuts will do, but I usually have ground almonds on hand, partly for Indian recipes. Otherwise I sometimes have walnuts or hazelnuts in but they need grinding. Cool and rain are indeed a welcome change. Summers seem to last so long. It’s nice to hibernate.
      Walking at night is nice. Quiet, less people (usually – bit surprised Main Street was so busy), no need to dress up. Don’t we all turn into our parents/grandparents?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pecans and walnuts are grown locally, have used cashews and sliced almonds on occasion. Almonds/almond milk is the trendy cooking thing here right now.
        Short walk today as Molly suddenly decided she’d gone far enough and would not take another step. So we turned home and arrived on the porch just before the rain. So who should be in charge of the leash, Snowy?

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  5. Your main photo is a prizewinner in my humble opinion. There’s such depth and a wonderful aura about it. It makes a rainy evening look absolutely romantic and lovely. :) I love stuffed mushrooms and potatoes, but not much else. I think the Ark should offer his chili seedlings for sale on eBay. :)

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    • Aww thanks S. I’m just snaphappy clicker. Some pix work, and some even work well from time to time. I do like rain photos though. The effect of the water and light can be really interesting. I don’t stuff either of those! I think he should stand outside selling them. Or add them as a sideline to the cake business.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish I could step into your cool, rainy cobblestony photo… it’s hot here, especially for an airconditioned conditioned person such as myself. I’ll post about it soonish but your vege pots remind me to say that inspired by your garden successes I’ve created a modest vege pot garden, so that in a few weeks not all our veges/salad will come from the shops… having not encountered any markets yet -school holidays & post festive season they aren’t around much. Later the G.O. will make his vege gardens but I’ll keep on with the pots for salady things and bits & pieces I like.
    I love stuffed veges, and do a lovely stuffed pumpkin. I must plant some garlic for bulbs and for the green… scapes I think they’re called. Interestingly I cooked differently when our locations were split too… now I just cook… not much locally in the way of takeaway although we discovered while my sister was visiting that the pub does good pizza… of course, so do I.

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    • Yeah, it usually is warm down your way about now :D looking forward to your veg post, that will be good. Food garlic bulbs are not recommended apparently although they may be cheaper. I think I tried once and they didn’t work so it’s handy when our local plant shop has them in. Usually October onwards, same time as seed potatoes come in. Think if I want onions next year, I might be sets, they do those too as I recall. Me and onion seeds = 0.
      Pizza is pretty ubiquitous isn’t it? We can even get it in the village these days from one of the pubs.

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    • Thanks for that :) We get so much sun here, it’s great to get the chance to take something that isn’t stark light and blue skies! But I think rain photos are interesting generally because of the softer atmosphere. So go for it. Maybe not on the bike though.

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  7. stuffed peppers? yum!
     
    interesting tip on the young garlic. i have had garlic chives in my herbal planter in the past – that seems to be something different, although i will have to look into that.
     
    i love zucchinis (courgettes) too. the first time i bumped into the term courgette was when i looked at a British cookbook. i guess that is one word that didn’t make it into Canada :)
     
    enjoyed your walk in the rain. rain adds such lovely reflections. discovered that by accident when in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. i must remember to take advantage of it again for future reference. brilliant lighting…

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    • I think they are different to garlic chives too. Guess zucchini proves the US influence in Canada is greater than the French one. Although maybe they have courgettes in Quebec ;)

      Rain is photo fun I think. Main Street has good lighting, hence reflections and illumination of the water on the pavement/road.

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  8. Odd the memory triggers we get. My stuffed home grown marrows, when in season and dad adored them. As a child we had our tea separately from my parents so when dad was salivating over his dinner I wanted a taste. It was delicious but my brother hated his taste. My wouldn’t cook differently for him and me so a power struggle over food ensued. I’d forgotten that particular battle. He won. He won all the battles back then. Nowadays he professes to loved stuffed marrows, courgettes or anything similar. Too little too late in my book!

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    • I cooked stuffed marrow at home once. Stuffed it with mince. Not enough meat for my father I suspect. We usually ate marrow cooked in butter and its own juice in the oven, with roast beef. Dodgy to cook though, timing was all between having cooked but still firm marrow rather than mush. Very yum though with a little black pepper. We tend to eat courgettes rather than marrow as they are more of a spanish thing (and we get given them free).

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That first photo is so alluring, Kate! As are the broad beans in garlic :) I never manage to have leftover anything other than pasta. Greedy people in my house :( Did you just cook the courgette boats on the ring rather than in the oven? Any kind of mushrooms are good with me :)

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    • Thanks Jo. Nice to know rain is alluring! Broad beans and peas as paella veg to be accurate. No more broad beans here right now, coming to end of season :( Still some fresh peas though. I did cook them on the ring on a low heat, the oven would have worked too though. In either case, they didn’t take long.

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  10. Wifey did some stuffed tomatoes t’other day… I couldn’t get enough of them! :D Love stuffed peppers and courgettes…. I’d sit at your table any day even though I still eat meat as well. Envy your garden! :D I love those pics in the rain… It’s quite tranquil to walk in light rain on a night time in a quiet.

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