Stuffed Courgette - Zucchini Boats
10-12 crisp and shiny-skinned courgettes, each 5-6 inches (12-15 cm)
50 grams anchovies, drained (reserve the oil)
1 Tablespoon each butter and oil from the anchovies (or olive oil if
the anchovies are omitted)
3 shallots or a small bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
For the sauce:
12 fl oz. (350 ml) milk
2 oz. (50g) plain flour
1 oz. (25g) butter
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
good shake of white pepper
2 eggs beaten
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
2 oz. (50g) mature Cheddar cheese, grated (or 4 oz. (125g) grated
4 rounded Tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
1-1/2 oz. (40g) butter, melted
Spread the breadcrumbs on a tray and dry in the kitchen for an hour,
then mix well with the melted butter.
Wipe the courgettes, top and tail them and cut them in half
lengthways. Scoop out some of the flesh with a teaspoon, leaving a
boat-shaped shell about 3/8-inch (1 cm) thick. Reserve the flesh.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil with 1 teaspoon salt and cook
the courgette shells, covered, until they are barely tender — about
Drain well and arrange in a large buttered entrée dish that will
hold them in one layer.
For the filling: Drain the anchovies and chop finely.
Put the tablespoon oil into a frying pan with the tablespoon of
butter. Add the shallots or onion and the anchovies and cook until
the onion is golden, then add the courgette flesh, finely chopped.
Cook until the flesh falls and becomes creamy in texture and golden
in color. Remove the mixture from the pan with a slotted spoon,
leaving any free oil behind.
Set the oven at gas 6 (400 F, 200 C).
For the sauce: Put the butter, flour and cold milk into a pan with
the seasonings. Whisk over medium heat (use a balloon or batter
whisk) until the sauce thickens smoothly, then change to a wooden
Simmer, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes; then add the beaten eggs
and the cheese. Mix well and bring back to the boil, then take off
the heat. Taste and add more cheese if desired.
Divide the filling between the courgettes. Then pour the sauce over
and sprinkle the whole dish with the buttered crumbs (the dish may
now be left for several hours or overnight).
Bake for 20 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden. Cool
for 5 minutes before serving.
Evelyn Rose suggests this meatless dish for Simhat Torah in this
week's "Table Talk" column in the Jewish Chronicle (Great Britain).
(Israelis know courgettes as ~kishu'im~.)
Leftovers may be frozen.
For vegetarians the anchovies can be omitted.