The tradition of filling courgettes, peppers or aubergines does not necessarily come from Spain, but Spanish cuisine does have its own way of doing it. There is a tendency to have meat in it, but also vegetarian and vegan versions can be found.
The following is a recipe that uses the meat of the courgettes to do a ‘sofrito’ with other vegetables and then tops the whole thing with plenty of béchamel (a recipe for this will be coming soon!). To make it vegan you just need a vegan béchamel.
It you fancy making the whole thing a bit more nutritious, try adding some minced soya, tofu or seitan. To serve, I suggest some fries, salad or rice. And to make it juicier, you might want to have it with some Mojo Verde or Mojo Picón. Enjoy!
Courgettes stuffed with its own meat and vegetables
- 3 large courgettes
- 1 white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 carrot (optional)
- 1/2 pepper (optional)
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1 large juicy tomato
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- 400 ml bechamel
Fill a large pan with water, add a tablespoon of salt and bring to boil. Wash the courgettes and cut in half lengthways.
Add the courgettes to the boiling water and allow to simmer for 7-10 minutes, until the meat has softened. Then remove courgettes from the pan.
Use a spoon to gently remove the meat from the courgettes. Make sure not to remove too much, to avoid braking the skin of the courgette. Drain, roughly chop and set the meat aside.
Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic and carrot. Wash and finely chop the pepper.
Place a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, pepper, and carrot, and a teaspoon of salt. Gently fry over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Wash and chop the tomato. Add the tomato and the courgette meat to the pan. Add a teaspoon of smoked paprika if you like. Leave to fry for another 20 minutes until well soft and then allow to cool down for a couple of minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200º C. Place the courgettes on a baking tray, fill with the vegetable mix and top with plenty of bechamel. Place tray in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until the top of the courgettes is well toasted. Make use of the grill option as necessary.
Serve hot with some fries, rice and/or salad.