After using one of those little rolypoly courgettes in a salad last week, I still had quite a few left.
Here in Turkey we are no stranger to stuffing vegetables; in fact, this is probably the first thing that comes into our heads. These little wobbly men are just perfect to stuff. TT is a bit unhappy with my translation above: yuvarlak kabak – he says he had never in his life seen these before last week!So they are new and trendy! I think they are adorable.
So they are new and trendy! I think they are adorable.
But first I had a quick look at the internet for further inspiration on the wider front. I have to confess I was dismayed, not to mention incredulous, by the ingredients:
My reaction was to retreat to the tried-and-tested comfort of a typical Turkish dolma filling which in a way made me laugh: here was I, at times critical of the all-too-predictable ingredients in many Turkish dishes, turning my nose up at what can only be called more creative ones!
This is a very simple but authentic Turkish recipe: precise amounts are not critical to the overall success of the dish.
about 10 little round courgettes
- First, prepare your courgettes by cutting off the caps and removing the inner flesh with a teaspoon:
- Lightly salt them on the inside.
- Mix all remaining ingredients together with your hands and knead well. Fill the hollowed out courgette shells 2/3 full as they will swell during cooking. Top either with their own little caps or with slices/pieces of tomato for a nice colour contrast. Arrange close together in a heavy,round pan. One layer is ideal.
- If you have extra filling left over, either look in your fridge for other stuffable vegetables like I did (I found a red pepper and a big fat tomato) and/or make little round meatballs. Lay these on top of the dolma. Dot with little knobs of butter and fill the pan with cold water to a level halfway up the courgettes.
- Bring the water to a gentle boil, then cover and gently cook for 30 minutes, or till the filling is done. Be careful not to overcook as the courgettes will become too soft. Top up with water if necessary.
- To finish off, place in a hot oven and bake till the courgettes turn an attractive brown.
For me, dolma are very seasonal and associated with summer. I know we can now find aubergines, green peppers and the regular courgettes ie all the stuffing vegetables, just about all the year round, but they will never have the taste that they have now :).