When Ian and I moved into our current home, we were so excited about the prospect of becoming self sustaining that our own vege patch became our first priority. At the time we were coming into the winter months here and knew we would be overseas for 5 weeks at the break of spring. We weighed up the pros and cons of soil prep during winter, and attempting to get a green crop in prior to leaving for India, or crossing our fingers and waiting until we came home in early October, knowing that potentially we may have left our run too late for any decent crop maturity (our planting window is quite tight due to the climate in Canberra).
Anyway, the result has been great and in some ways better that I expected… plus, truth be told, we didn’t actually get anything into the ground until November as October here was full of surprises… one of which was snow!
Ian and I put in some really big days; with the help of my brother Casey, who did some major digging and soil prep! Ian got an old pressure pump working that he found in the shed and hooked up an irrigation system of champions. He also constructed the netting structure to keep the birds out (he is a keeper that one).
By January, we arrived home from Xmas holidays on the coast with the kids to a luscious gardens with the start of a banner crop of lettuce, kale and zucchini.
And now, the kale and zucchini are going nuts! So what does that mean? Just the best summer stuffed zucchini around.
I found this recipe on a fantastic website called http://www.mynewroots.com which used small summer squash and quinoa, with some very minor modifications (http://mynewroots.org/site/2012/08/summer-stuffed-patty-pans/) You should totally check it out, the food is AMAZING!
Equally as lush, I obviously used my king sized zucchini, and subbed the quinoa with chinese black rice (by fav FYI). The dish is vegetarian and gluten free, but easily adapted to vegan; I just reserved some stuffing prior to adding the feta for my family.
Summer Stuffed Zucchini
What you need:
2 oversized zucchini (you can use 6 small ones or squash too)
knob of coconut oil or ghee
1 medium red onion
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
1 cup green peas
2 cups chopped kale or silver beet (I used half and half)
1 cup cooked black rice (or other whole grain)
½ cup crumbled goat or sheep feta (optional)
sea salt & pepper
1. Cut the zucchini in half. Next, scoop out the inside flesh, leaving a ½” rim around the edge to hold everything yummy in place. Reserve the flesh and roughly chop, set aside. If you cannot get the zucchini to sit evenly, slice off a little of the bottom to create a flat surface (be careful not to cut too deeply and create a hole in the bottom.
2. Heat a knob of coconut oil in a large pan. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt, cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and caraway seeds, and cook for another couple minutes. Next add the peas and squash, then the kale a minute later, folding occasionally until the kale is slightly wilted. Remove from heat, stir in the cooked black rice and crumbled feta (if using). Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Fill each zucchini half with the vegetable mixture and arrange on a baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the zucchini is soft and cooked through.
4. Serve with any leftover filling, and a drizzle of good quality olive oil. Yummo!
I’ve made this dish a few times now because I’m totally in LOVE with it… and it was a hit with the chidlets too… always a win in my opinion.
With love in my heart,