There’s nothing trendy about this, but I bet it’s still being cooked in kitchens of the tavernas, on every Greek island, if you’re lucky enough to be there this summer. I saw some round courgettes yesterday and was transported back to happy Greek holidays. If you can’t find them, just use different coloured peppers instead. The stuffed vegetables should be quite rich and oily.
(This recipe is good for vegetarians, but 100g minced beef or lamb can be added. This should be cooked separately and added to the rice before stuffing and baking. This would make extra stuffing for more vegetables).
For what I produced in the photographs, you will need:
3 medium round courgettes
2 red peppers
3 medium/large tomatoes
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
120g white rice
2 handfuls sultanas
2 handfuls chopped walnuts
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1 large tomato, extra
2 handfuls of fresh thyme leaves, (chopped oregano would be good too).
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
1. Cut tops off all the vegetables and retain.
2. Carefully dig the flesh out of the courgettes and tomatoes, so as not to break the walls. (Just a decent cavity in the courgettes will do). De-seed the peppers.
3. Cut a tiny piece across the base of each vegetable so it stands straight up in an ovenproof dish).
4. Season inside each cavity.
5. Sweat the chopped onion and celery for about 5 minutes in about 3 tblsns oil.
6. Add the raw rice and sultanas, and turn for about a minute or two.
7. Add enough water to cover the rice twice, and bring to the boil, then simmer, covered till just cooked.
8. Add the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
9. Stuff the vegetable cavities generously, packing it down.
10. Replace the tops over the stuffing and sprinkle with another 4 tblspns of oil.
11. Pour in a little water to the base of the dish, and bake the courgettes and pepper for 1 hr 15 minutes. After just under an hour, add the tomatoes, so they cook just for 20 minutes.
Good reheated the next day, or served cold, or tepid like in Greece. I served them with lightly cooked chard.