Ricotta & basil courgettes with quinoa tabbouleh recipe image

Print Ricotta & basil courgettes with quinoa tabbouleh

Why wait until the courgettes have grown into marrows before stuffing them? The filling here is inspired by the type of filling that would go perfectly in stuffed and fried courgette flowers, but they're pretty hard to get hold of so this is the next best thing.

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 large or 3 smaller courgettes
  • Olive oil
  • 100g quinoa
  • 125g ricotta
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 25g Italian hard cheese
  • 30g breadcrumbs
  • 20g basil
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 30g parsley
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6. Put a kettle on to boil. Zest and juice the lemon. Cut the courgettes in half, lengthways. Place them on the baking tray and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat and turn them well in olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Bake them, cut side facing up, for 15 minutes. Rinse the quinoa in the sieve under cold running water. Put in the medium saucepan and cover with 400ml of water. Season with salt and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender. While the courgettes and quinoa cook, mix the ricotta, pine nuts, breadcrumbs, Italian cheese and half the lemon zest in a bowl. Tear in the basil leaves and stir through the mix. Remove the courgettes from the oven.
  4. Using the tip of a teaspoon, scrape out the softer core of the courgette until you’ve removed about half of the flesh. Chop the flesh you have removed and mix it into the ricotta mix. Season the mix well, loosen with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and grate in a little nutmeg to taste.
  5. Spoon the mix evenly back into the hollowed courgettes and return to the oven for 15 minutes, until baked and bubbling. Meanwhile, drain any remaining water from the quinoa. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and leave to cool.
  6. Wash the parsley and shake dry. Remove the leaves and finely chop them. Cut the tomatoes into quarter’s. Scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard. Chop the flesh into a fine dice. Peel and finely chop, or crush, the garlic clove.
  7. Stir the parsley, tomatoes and garlic through the cooled quinoa. Check the seasoning and add some of the remaining lemon juice until you are happy with the taste. Serve the courgettes, artfully stacked atop your quinoa tabbouleh.
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