Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Rocket & Roses Fresh Garlic Stem & Flageolet Stuffed Courgettes/Zucchini (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ~ Goin' Home Deluxe Album

Sunshine...never a thing I take for granted in England and even after the awesome thunder storms I enjoyed yesterday..it was nice to wake up to sun bursting through my bedroom window this morning. I just wish it wasn't at 4am! Today I've had a morning in the kitchen creating and I am currently sipping a new chilled green tea recipe I am working on (not quite there yet..*shudder* Nope). I also made a beautiful savoury pancake for my breakfast and made a noodle salad for my lunch. I have been busy...which is why I am flagging a little now. I can hear my Docs collectively sighing. But I am resting now...promise...ahem...well I am trying...honestly...

Today's recipe is one I made up on the spot. I love courgette and I really enjoy eating them raw in salads and cooked in various recipes. But hollow the little suckers out and stuff them with great ingredients and you have something a little wonderful. Now I like to hollow mine out so the courgette really is just a thin shell to house the filling. It takes a little extra effort and goodness knows I am not a patient person..(work in progress..lol Stop laughing!)..but after many earlier attempts at stuffing them I've always found the thinner the shell the better. I had also picked up some fresh garlic bulbs which is something rare where I live and as soon as I was through the check out I knew exactly what they were going to be used for. I had two med/large courgettes back at home and I knew the stems of the garlic would make a great base for a filling. I also decided to keep the flavours simple. I wanted to encourage the natural flavours to be the star of this dish. 

If you can't get fresh garlic then you could sub it for the white part of a small leek and 1 small clove of garlic...this would give you a similar flavour. And for the first time I used a new to me product that is maize cous cous. I haven't seen it on the shelves before or even heard of it but as I really miss the ease of a quickly thrown together cous cous or bulgar wheat meal..I had to try it. It's very quick to make and a little goes a long way....and it really is very nice. In keeping with using natural flavours I decided to use flageolet beans for my filling as I love their texture and flavour and I wasn't disappointed. 

The results was a meal that had many layers of flavour. (Phew! lol) The ginger gives you a little kick at the end of every mouthful. The garlic stems add a fragrant flavour and the succulent courgette in both the filling and the shell give a comforting feeling. The flageolet beans bring a wholesome feel to the dish and collectively they all blend together to give you a meal that is very tasty and very healthy. The maize cous cous? Just lovely even if it isn't quite as robust as it's wheaty alternatives but I can live with that quite happily. As my little niece quite often tells me when here...Yummy!..and I couldn't agree more. 

R & R Fresh Garlic Stem & Flageolet Stuffed Courgettes

Rocket & Roses Fresh Garlic Stem & Flageolet Stuffed Courgettes    Serves 2-4
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

2 med/large courgettes, cleaned and halved lenthways
1 tsp coconut oil - optional 
3 fresh garlic stems, thinly sliced - or white of small leek and one small garlic clove 
1 1/2" piece of fresh ginger, micrograted 
1/2 small red bell pepper, very finely chopped
3/4 cup freshly cooked maize cous cous - or wheat alternative 
1 14oz tin of flageolet beans, rinsed well and drained
generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper - to taste
pinch of low sodium salt - optional 

Using a very sharp paring knife cut around the inside of the halved courgettes. Leaving a shell of roughly 5 mm all the way around. Cut down through the centre of the of the courgette inner and then cut again across the width all the way along. Using a spoon (I use my serrated grapefruit spoon) carefully take out the cut flesh and set to one side. And repeat until you have four shells. Place them into a baking dish and set to one side. 

Heat the oven to 350'F/180'C/GM 4. 

Fresh garlic bulbs...the stems are a great ingredient...

In a skillet gently heat the coconut oil if you are using. Thinly slice the courgette flesh and add the courgette, garlic stems, red pepper and ginger to the skillet. Stir well to coat in the coconut oil and cover and cook over a med heat until the veggies have cooked down and become succulent. Add in the beans, cooked cous cous, pepper and salt and stir well to evenly distribute and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Stirring often. Remove from the heat.

Spoon the filling into each shell and press down to pack it firmly into the shell. Then go back over the courgettes adding a little more so you have a mound of filling along each one. Gently cover the baking dish with tin foil and place in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid at this point to make sure the courgette shells are cooked and then place back into the oven for 10 minutes more to crisp up the top of the filling. Serve...


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Tuesday has been a good one...


NB: This is my creation and I am very happy for you to use it and share it. All I ask is that you give credit where it's due. Many thanks, namaste ~R~