Stuffed Courgettes with Walnut and Sage Drizzle

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This is a tasty way to use up leftovers. The stuffing is a simple mix of cooked rice and breadcrumbs brought together with the earthy flavours of sage and walnut.

Walnuts should be as fresh as possible and lightly toasted to achieve optimum flavour. This quantity of stuffing should be enough for about 4 medium courgettes.

Keep it vegan by substituting oil for the butter in the drizzled sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 courgettes, green or yellow
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100g cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 50g wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 75g butter (or 3 tbsp. vegetable oil)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp.)
  • bunch of flat-leaf parsley (approx. 50g)
  • sage leaves (approx.100g)
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Gently sauté the chopped onions on a medium heat until they become soft and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and chopped parsley stems and cook for another minute; don’t allow the onions or garlic to brown.
  3. Chop the parsley leaves and half of the sage leaves; reserving the rest for the butter sauce.
  4. Chop the walnuts; reserving half for garnish.
  5. Combine the rice, breadcrumbs, onions, chopped herbs and walnuts in a bowl and season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Prepare the courgettes by slicing them lengthways and scooping out the soft seedy centres with a small spoon. (This pulp can be added to the onions while they are cooking if you don’t want to discard it.)
  7. Carefully slice a thin sliver off the underside of the courgettes to help them sit upright.
  8. Brush the cut surfaces of the courgettes with olive oil and fill them with the prepared stuffing.
  9. Place the filled courgette ‘boats’ onto a baking tray and add a few tablespoons of water to the base of the tray before placing in a preheated oven (250 c) to bake for about 45 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan and add the remaining sage leaves. Fry the leaves until they become crispy and the butter has turned brown but not burnt.
  11. Remove the sage and drain on kitchen paper.
  12. Strain the butter into a small bowl or jug to remove the solids, squeeze in the lemon juice and mix together.
  13. Drizzle the buttery, lemony sauce over the courgettes and sprinkle with the rest of the walnuts and crispy sage before serving.

Nutrition

Sage (Salvia officinalis), a plant in the mint family and has antibacterial, antiseptic, carminative and astringent properties.
This herb is an excellent choice for when any coughs, colds, sore throats or nasal congestion arrive uninvited.

Walnuts are fantastic sources of omega 3 fatty acids, making them great for your brain, skin and eyes.
They’re also packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein and are brimming with antioxidants. One, in particular, is vitamin E – an important antioxidant for protecting the eye from oxidative damage.

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