This dish is best used in combination with other stuffed vegetables.
Trim the ends of the courgettes and then cut in half lengthways. With a teaspoon hollow out the courgette halves. This is best done by scraping the spoon towards you holding it near vertically along the length of the courgette – imagine you are making a Polynesian war canoe. Reserve the scrapings. Arrange the courgette halves in the prepared dish in a single layer. They should fit snugly enough to hold each other up.
Heat the frying pan to high then add a little oil and the onions, followed by the courgette scrapings. Sauté briskly for 2–3 minutes. Tip this mixture into a food processor. Add the basil, tomatoes, lemon zest, most of the breadcrumbs, the garlic and a little oil. Process briefly, taste and season.
Spoon this mixture into the dug-out courgettes, drizzle with oil and scatter a small amount of the reserved breadcrumbs over. Bake for 25 minutes, making sure the baking dish does not dry up with the courgettes starting to fry and burn; add more water if necessary. Do not let them burn on top. Check for doneness by piercing the end of the courgettes with a knife. If very tender, it is done.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.