Courgette Gondolas

Ingredients

  • 6 medium-sized courgettes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 small sprig of thyme
  • 30g/1 oz Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
  • olive oil, to drizzle

Utensils

  • Swiss roll pan or shallow ovenproof dish just large enough to hold the courgettes in one layer
  • sauté pan

Method

Mise en Place

Prepare the courgettes: halve them lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon, to make little dug-out canoes (what Cajun chefs call pirogues). This being an Italian dish, however, perhaps gondolas are more appropriate. Reserve the pulp.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas6 • Finely chop the onion and garlic • Strip the thyme leaves and chop • Grate the Parmesan cheese.

Cooking

Sweat the onion, garlic and reserved courgette flesh in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the sauté pan, until the onion is soft and translucent Put into a food processor with the breadcrumbs and cheese and process until you have a smooth paste. Add the thyme leaves and another tablespoon of olive oil and process briefly to mix in evenly.

Fill the courgette shells with the mixture and arrange in the dish or pan so they are all sitting upright. Dribble the remaining olive oil oven their tops and carefully pour 1 tablespoon of water into the base of the dish, avoiding the courgettes (the steam generated will help the cooking process and reduce the risk of burning).

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the gondolas have wilted slightly and browned.

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