Courgette Boats Aka les petits farcis

Aka les petits farcis*

August is generally the glut month for courgettes. By the start of September, things are beginning to calm down but then you start feeling wistful that the season is coming to an end and hoping the first frost won’t come too early.

Here’s a lovely recipe for our favourite summer squash. So much tastier and more delicate than a hefty stuffed marrow this dish really is in the luxury class; yet it’s actually very economical to make, especially if your vegetable plot is over-run with courgettes.

Serve these tasty little morsels for lunch or supper with crusty bread, or as a starter or side dish.

Serves 2 but easy to increase quantities

  • 2 medium-sized courgettes (length approximately 15cm)
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red chilli sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 50g stale bread, whizzed into crumbs in a food processor and dried in oven for 3-4 minutes
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 60g mature Cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 180C (fan oven) or equivalent

You will need a baking try lined with greaseproof paper

Trim the ends from the courgettes and halve them lengthwise.

Score a central channel down each half with the tip of a teaspoon, removing the pulpy centres.

Brush with oil and bake for 8-10 minutes until almost tender. Set aside.

Fry the onion slowly in the remaining oil until soft but not coloured. Add the chilli and garlic towards the end of cooking time. Remove from the heat.

Combine the breadcrumbs with most of the cheese, the onion and the chilli. Bind with egg and season with pepper.

Fill the boats with the mixture, scatter with the remaining cheese and bake for around 10 minutes until golden. Serve immediately.

*Endearingly, ‘les petits farcis’ translates as ‘little stuffed things’