How to eat more vegetables, easily Part 2: Provencal Stuffed Vegetables

stuffed veggies

Here’s the recipe for Provencal stuffed vegetables I promised to you last time…

The version we had in Nice was stuffed with ground veal, but since our objective here is to increase the vegetable intake, may I suggest you make the stuffing with sautéed mirepoix.  If you’ve been reading my blog and implementing the tips, you might already have some in your fridge or freezer! With that on hand, it’ll make things so much easier!

The best thing about this is it’s very versatile – meaning you can use things you find in your fridge or freezer and end up with a delicious dish.

For the delicate flavor of squash blossoms, I like the mixture of rice, chicken sausage, grated cheese or ricotta cheese, lemon zest and parsley. The other vegetables have a more assertive flavor, so you can stuff with couscous, breadcrumbs, cheeses, ground meat, cheeses, chopped nuts, pesto…

Ingredients:

  • Sautéed mirepoix or sautéed mirepoix and meat mixture
  • Seasonal vegetables of your choice: Here I used tomato, zucchini, squash blossom, eggplant and yellow pepper.
  • Cooked meat, cheese, chopped nuts, herb for flavor
  • Rice, breadcrumbs, couscous etc.
  • Beaten egg

Directions:

  1. Combine rice, sautéed mirepoix, meat, etc. and egg.  Season and mix well.
  2. Cut vegetables in half and scoop out the seeds. If large, slice in 1/4” thickness. Sprinkle salt and pepper and drizzle inside with a little olive oil. If using squash blossoms, remove the stems and stamens, just rinse it gently with water and pat dry.
  3. Chop tomato and zucchini seeds (if small), and add to the mixture.
  4. Stuff the vegetables with mirepoix mixture. Optional: Sprinkle with grated cheeses.
  5. Bake at 400F or pan fry both side – stuffed side first on a non-stick skillet, until the top is golden brown and cooked through.

Tip: It’s really fun and easy to make different stuffing and compare. These veggies on the photos have 5 different combinations, all with sautéed mirepoix with chicken sausage.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo before I fried them.)

  • pepper: couscous, pesto, ricotta.
  • zucchini: tomato flesh, pecorino Romano
  • Squash blossom: as above with ricotta
  • tomato: zucchini flesh, rice, pecorino Romano,  pesto
  • eggplant: panko, lots of pecorino Romano

If you made too much stuffing, make it into small balls, fry/bake them as a snack!  It’s a cook’s treat.

Squash blossoms are easy to grow at home. Given that they are really expensive (50c per withered flower) and hard to find, I grow them just for the flowers.

In my next post, I’ll share the a little more about this summer delicacy, and the tips on how to keep them fresh longer… So stay tuned.

Zucchini Flower on Foodista

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