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.
Whatever you want, really, but I used:
A spoonful of leftover bolognaise sauce
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.
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
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.
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.