Author Notes: This Sunday, I picked up gorgeous courgettes. They are also called globe or round zucchini. The thing about these squash aside from their aesthetic beauty is their versatility and ability to take the stage with aplomb. They are so well proportioned for a meal and give in nicely to pretty much any stuffing you fancy. Yet, they will still be the lead actor on the plate.
I stuffed them with their flesh (always use their flesh to stuff back. It adds a lot of moisture into the dish), ground pastured beef with a little bacon, onion, garlic and a little pesto I had on hand. I cooked in leftover stuffing with some diced tomato for a heartier sauce. It was awesome! Clean flavors that enliven every ingredient.
To make this vegetarian, go for a bean or grain stuffing or one with sweet potatoes. Unlike the patty pan squash, courgette are bigger and have higher water content. You will typically need something else other than its own cooked flesh to fill the cavity. You don't need to cook them in a gravy but doing so, makes a whole one pot meal! So, I would choose that.
Also, this dish cooks in under 40 minutes! So, that is a easy and healthy weekday dinner any day! And, of course makes a great gourmet lunch the next day as it holds shape beautifully. —Asha
courgettes or globe zucchini
pound ground beef
onion, diced fine
cloves of garlic, minced
medium tomatoes, diced
cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce
cup vegetable or beef stock
Salt, pepper, oil as needed
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan, large enough to hold all the courgettes with oil and sauté onions and garlic until soft on low. Scoop out the insides to form squash cups and reserve. Chop the insides finely. When the onion and garlic is cooked, add the meat and brown all over. Add the insides of the squash and the sriracha sauce and cook for about 10 minutes, till the meat is cooked through.
- As the onions cook, cut the head off each courgette (at about 1/8 from the stalk), to create a cap. Reserve the cap. Cut as little as needed to scoop out the innards but not too much to waste the flesh on the cap side. You don't eat the cap in this recipe.
- Leave the pan on the stove and using a spoon, fill each prepared courgettes with the meat sauce up to the lip.
- Add the tomatoes to the remaining sauce and place stuffed courgettes into the pan in one layer. Cover each courgette with its cap. Add the stock or water.
- Close the pan with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Open the lid and if the sauce is too thin, cook on high without lid to reduce liquid.
- Serve immediately as is or over cooked grain or pasta (optional).