Stuffed courgettes with oregano and pine nut salsa

courgette

This is a dish from the absolutely incomparable Yotam Ottolenghi. I love Jamie Oliver, but I think Yotam Ottolenghi is the best of the best. Ottolenghi does an amazing veggies column every week here even though he is not actually vegetarian himself. I believe he has single-handedly transformed the vegetarian movement. Also I love his manner. Plus he is forever in his test kitchen on his Instagram account. Plus he is Israeli and his partner is Palestinian – so wonderful. 

Serves two as a main course, or four as a side dish.

450g courgettes (ie, 2 medium ones), green or yellow, cut in half lengthways
½ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 large egg, beaten
40g pecorino, finely grated
40g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs 
Salt
100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 lemon – zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp
4 tbsp finely chopped oregano leaves
35g pine nuts, lightly toasted
3 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven to its highest setting. Using a dessert spoon, scoop out the courgette flesh, but not all of it: you want 1cm of flesh left all around the sides, so the courgettes hold their shape. You’ll end up with four courgette “canoes”.

Transfer the flesh to a sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as you can: you should be left with about 100g flesh. Put this in a bowl and mix in the garlic, egg, pecorino, breadcrumbs and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Crush the tomatoes with your hands, then stir into the courgette mixture.

In a second bowl, mix the lemon zest, oregano and pine nuts. Stir half of this into the courgette mixture and save the rest for the salsa.

Lay the hollowed courgettes cut side up on a medium oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle a tablespoon of oil over the top and season with an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Spoon the courgette filling into the hollows, and bake for 15 minutes, until the filling is set and golden-brown.

While the courgettes are baking, make the salsa. Mix the lemon juice, remaining two tablespoons of oil and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt into the oregano and pine nut bowl.

Once the courgettes are cooked, let them cool a little before serving, with the salsa drizzled over the top.

download (7)

This is a dish from the absolutely incomparable Yotam Ottolenghi. I love Jamie Oliver, but I think Yotam Ottolenghi is the best of the best. Ottolenghi does an amazing veggies column every week here even though he is not actually vegetarian himself. I believe he has single-handedly transformed the vegetarian movement. Also I love his manner. Plus he is forever in his test kitchen on his Instagram account. Plus he is Israeli and his partner is Palestinian – so wonderful. His cookbooks are amazing too. I have Plenty and Plenty More. Bloody brilliant. 

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