Monday, 26 November 2012


Here in Australia, we have started to really feel the summer recently. Many things change with seasons (not that we have real 'seasons' in Mebourne!); energy levels, weekend programs, clothing, colours, business items, types of plants that are grown in the garden and so forth. Food is not any different. It changes quite a bit too as different vegies and fruit become available in season, different levels of calories and other essentials are needed, preferences change with the season etc.

In regards to food, in our case, we are normally quite happy with our natural yoghurt and eat it on a regular basis throughout the year. However, especially when it is warm or hot, it surely becomes one of our 'must-have' types of foods. We don't necessarily follow a particular diet at home, however, we do prefer certain cuisines over some others and the Mediterranean cuisine is one of our favourites for sure and youghurt generally goes well with it.

We sometimes consume yoghurt as is or even make a quick wrap or a dip with it, sometimes it compliments and accompanies other foods, such as stuffed vegetables and it does it beautifully. We stuff a lot of vegies and today, I will be sharing with you our recipe of stuffed zucchinis (note: there are variations of zucchinis and the ones in the pictures here are better known in Europe).

This recipe is a vegetarian recipe. However, it can be made with minced beef as well. If you are an omnivore and would like to know how to make it with meat as well, it is very easy. Just cook the beef with some onion (and alternatively with some tomatoes or tomato paste) and then the rest is the same as below.


2-3 zucchinis
1 medium onion
Approximately 1.5 bowlsful of short or medium grain rice (you can use bulghur/cracked wheat instead)
A tablespoonful of paste (optional) (You can use tomatoes instead of paste)
Ground mint
Cracked pepper
Olive oil (approximately 2-3 tablespoonsful)


For the stuffing, caramelise your chopped onions until brown (you can add your paste or tomatoes at this stage or right after the onions are caramelised) in shallow oil. Add rice, mint, salt and cracked pepper and stir it for a minute or so on high heat. Pour some hot boiling water on it (about a glassful) and turn down the heat. Close the lid of the pot and let it simmer until the water is absorbed.

To prepare the zucchini, cut your zucchini into about 2-3 equal pieces horizontally (this depends on the size of your courgette) and then cut about a 0.5cm (or a bit over) off from each piece to be able to close each stuffed zucchini with. Carve the insides of your zucchinis (there are tools designed particularly for that purpose but if you don't own one, just use a teaspoon and carve it with that just like scooping icecream of a tub). You don't need to waste that bid. Just chop it up and add it to the stuffing mixture or add it to your soups. The walls and the bottom of the zucchini  should be about 0.5cm in thickness for it not to break. Once they are ready, put your stuffing in each piece until almost full (not too full though as it will expand a bit more while cooking) and close them with the pieces that you have cut from each one.

Place them all in a pot horizontally (it is more desirable if you use a shallow pot as opposed to using deep ones), pour some hot boiling water (perhaps about 3 quarters of the zucchinis should be under water) and once it boils, turn down the heat and leave it on low heat until cooked. It takes less than half an hour to cook.

Enjoy something that makes you think of summer today!

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