Stuffed Courgette

Stuffed Courgette    Serves 4    V/GF/DF
This is a perfect dish for a dinner party as each person has their own individual stuffed courgette, which looks great plated up, and they can be made in advance.

2 Large Globe Courgettes (also possible to do with 2 large regular courgettes, we just think Globes look fab!)

For the filling:
2 handfuls of Lentils
1 Onion
1 Carrot
½ Garlic Bulb (just use 2 cloves if you don’t like garlic so much)
1 Aubergine
1 Pepper
6 Large Tomatoes 
(1 can of tinned toms could also be used if not tomato season)
Good squirt of tomato puree (approx. 1tbsp)
Spices – approx. 2tsp of each/ a good shake – cayenne pepper, chilli powder, paprika (smoked if you have it)
Salt and Pepper

Mixed Salad to serve

Courgettes:
1 – Take a small slice off the top and bottom of the courgettes then slice your globe courgettes in half horizontally. Using a small knife or spoon cut out the middle of the courgettes (not all the way through), so you are left with 4 bowl shapes. (Chickens will go mad for the seeds and scraps taken out here!)
2 – Place on a tray and rub oil, salt and pepper on them, then place in the oven at 180-200celcius for 20 minutes.

The filling:
1 – Simmer the lentils for 10minutes or so (until soft), then drain and set aside. (These taste better if cooked in stock – check ingredients if needing GF)
2- Finely slice the onion and garlic, then dice up the rest of the veg. When preparing the tomatoes remove the seeds before dicing.
3 – Heat oil in a large saucepan and soften the onions and garlic. You want them to be caramelizing before adding the other veg, browning on the edges and smelling sweet.
4 – Add the spices and tomato puree and mix well
5 – Add to the pan your carrot, aubergine and pepper and fry for a few minutes until softened
5 – Add the tomatoes and lentils and mix well. Cook for a few minutes, season to taste.

Your courgettes should be just about done now so fill each half with the mixture then return to the oven for a few minutes.
(If making these in advance don’t return to the oven, refrigerate for later and simply reheat in oven for approx. 20mins)

*****Up to this point the recipe is Vegan, Gluten free and Dairy free *****

If you want to add some extra YUM to the dish try topping it off with some cheese (ideally pan fried halloumi or a chunk of mozzarella but some grated cheddar would do the trick), or for the more carnivorous readers – sprinkle over some fried up bacon lardons (thinly sliced streaky bacon).

Serve with our tasty baby leaf mixed salad.