These stuffed vegetables are typical fare from Provençe - the region that hugs the Mediterranean coastline in the South of France. Vegetables, olives and olive oil are used in abundance in Provençe, and this recipe really captures the sun and fragrance of this much-loved area! There are numerous recipes for these famous stuffed vegetables, but this one is my favourite.......all that is needed is crusty bread and a glass of wine, et voila - an excellent light dinner or summer lunch. I have stipulated baby "round" courgettes (zucchini) and tomatoes in this recipe, but you can also use onions and aubergines (eggplant) as well.
- 4 -5 round courgettes
- 4 -5 large beefsteak tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
- 450 g good quality sausage meat
- 50 g tomato puree
- 4 tablespoons white wine
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 50 g parmesan cheese, grated
- 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
- fresh ground black pepper
- parsley (to garnish) or basil leaves (to garnish)
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Grease a roasting tin or a tian (earthenware dish) with some olive oil.
- Cut the tops of the courgettes and tomatoes, keeping the lids.
- Using a pointed spoon, hollow out centres of the courgettes and tomatoes - leaving about 1/2" thickness as the "container".
- Place the courgettes and tomatoes into the oiled tin or tian.
- Chop up the tomato and courgette flesh finely and place into a bowl.
- Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan, wok or skillet; add the onions, garlic, and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the sausage meat, and break it up well - continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or until the sausage meat has browned.
- Add the chopped courgette and tomato flesh and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and stirring occasionally, cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and the chopped parsley - stir well.
- Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Spoon the mixture into the vegetables - and then place the tops back on top of the courgettes and tomatoes.
- Drizzle the remaining olive oil over and around the stuffed vegetables and then pour in the white wine.
- Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, until well browned and the vegetables are soft, but still holding their shape.
- Serve tepid or at room temperature, with the cooking liquor drizzled around the petits farcis & some chopped parsley or basil sprinkled over them. All that is needed then, is some crusty bread, good wine, good company and maybe some sun!