And out of the blue! ... a foodie post!
Thursday night my friend Mel kindly gave me some absolutely lovely vegetables from her allotment near our neighborhood. So touched by this gift, I was determined to attempt a special meal using as many ingredients as I could.
Here's what she gave me:
yellow squash *
onions (red and white)
lettuce (not sure what kind?)
banana pepper plant (with ripening fruit!)
* the yellow squash was particularly exciting because I've NEVER had this over here! We call it 'summer squash' in NY and my Mom always has it. Dan says it's called yellow courgette here.
(she also gave me raspberry plants, a currant plant and strawberry plants which I hope will bear fruit later!)
|Some of the ingredients. Counter clockwise from upper left:|
- Banana pepper - This one fell off the plant while we were still at the allotment and I thought it was wasted ... not so much! Look at how it's changed colour! And, it's a lot more spicy than I expected. :)
- Mediterranean Veggie Sausage (From Tesco) - mashed with fork.
- Fresh cilantro (coriander).
- A few cut up cherry tomatoes.
- Mel's red onion
- some sliced garlic there in the middle.
I cut the courgette and yellow squash in half and took the seeds out. I put them in the oven (at about 190C) for 20 minutes to soften them up. Then I set to work on the stuffing.
Shallow fry the onion, banana peppers and garlic in a frying pan until soft and then add the Med Sausage. I prepared some couscous on the side and added about 3 forkfulls (not much, just to thicken the mixture up). Add fresh cilantro, salt and cayenne to taste. Voila!
I filled the hollowed 'boats' of squash with the stuffing mixure, and then topped them with grated grana padano cheese. The courgette was a lot bigger than the yellow squash so I thought better to put them in at different times. The courgette was in for about another 20 minutes and the squash a bout half that. Above, the yellow squash waiting it's turn while the rich smell of the stuffed courgette was filling the room.
As an accompaniment, I wanted to make a nice salad using Mel's fresh lettuce and cucumber. This is super simple, but didn't disappoint! I deseeded the cucumber, cut it in half and only peeled half to keep some of that lovely skin on for texture. Then added some cut vine tomatoes.
- olive oil
- fresh lime juice
- fresh cut garlic
- bit of brown sugar
- touch of balsamic raspberry vinegar
- some fresh cut cilantro
After dressing the tomatoes and cucumber, I lined the bowl with Mel's lovely lettuce leaves and poured the rest of the salad in.
Again, the final result! YUM!
Need I say more?