Right now I am watching the second episode of the second season of Sherlock, all of which I have seen already, but it’s still questionable whether I’ll be able to write something intelligible in the background. So I shall discuss zucchini (by which, for the Readership across the Pond, which two I think outnumber maybe the one on this side, I mean courgettes).
My Paul and I have quite a nice little garden going these days, and we eat a lot of salad when we’re not on holiday, which we were all week, which would explain my silence here (more explanations to come the next two weeks). We returned home last night and had a lovely salad with some burgers on the side, but sometimes you just want a vegetable alternative. So tonight I stuffed a giant yellow zucchini (“Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!”–What? Oh, sorry).
Said zucchini came out of our aforementioned garden, and I sliced the ends off and hacked the thing in half lengthwise. (Okay. It wasn’t that dramatic.) Then I chopped up half a Vidalia onion and two small-to-middling green tomatoes. (The tomatoes came from the garden, too. One of these days, so will the onions.) I also threw in some chia seeds because we have loads, and we haven’t used any in a long time and they are supposed to be really good for you and barely taste like anything. I put some black truffle oil in a small frying pan, heated it up quite hot, and threw in the chopped bits for a few minutes–until they softened and began to caramelise. Sometime before this happened, I also minced and added two small cloves of garlic, and tossed in some red pepper flakes and some freshly ground kosher salt.
Then I dumped some plain unseasoned breadcrumbs and three chopped sprigs of our potted basil into the original bowl and poured the sauteed ingredients into them, mixing them all up and giving it a taste. The red pepper flakes provided a nice kick of heat, the basil gave the flavour a foundation, and I guess I thought the green tomatoes would provide a solid tang, but they were, while not bad, a little too understated for the taste I was going for. Therefore I scooped a handful of green olives with pimentos out of the jar in the fridge, chopped them up, too, and threw them in. In the end I poured in a generous helping of grated parmesan cheese.
I should have probably pre-cooked the zucchini “shells” a little first, and turned the heat up a little further, but I never have a clue how high to heat the oven so if you try to replicate this, your guess is as good as mine. Quite likely better, in fact. It took about twenty minutes for the zucchini itself even to make it to al dente, and by then the extra cheese I had sprinkled on the top was fairly dessicated, but otherwise it was pretty delicious. I was going to save half of my half for lunch tomorrow, but my Paul and I ended up demolishing the entire squash and its innards. It’s rather pleasant to feel this full and simultaneously as if I ate something more or less healthy.