In spring, not only our clothing is less heavy and enriched with more vivid colors, even at the table we feel the need to bring lighter and more colorful courses, so in these days I decided to prepare round courgettes stuffed with quinoa and vegetables.
This dish is appetizing and very versatile and can be served both as a first course, as an appetizer or side dish, perhaps during a happy situation like a barbecue or a picnic with friends.
Some tricks before directions
Quinoa is not a cereal and does not contain gluten, it is the seeds of a herbaceous plant that belongs to the same family as beetroot and spinach.
As well as being appetizing, it is very nutritious and suitable for those who want to follow a varied and healthy diet, for celiacs and also for vegans as it is a good source of vegetable protein.
Quinoa is covered with “saponin” a substance with a bitter flavor and not very digestible that the plant uses to protect his seeds from the attack of birds, for this reason you must rinse it carefully before use it.
The rinsing operation is very simple, I suggest you proceed as explained below:
put the quinoa in a thin sieve, put the strainer in a bowl and fill it with cold flowingh water.
Gently turn the quinoa over with your fingers, then pick up the strainer and throw out the water that will have become a little murky.
Repeat the operation described above at least 5 times, then rinse the quinoa again under flowing water inside the strainer and leave it inside to drain until you need to cook.
Generally, to cook it, the ratio is of two cups of water for one of quinoa, but in this case as cooking will end in the oven, I used half of the water normally needed.
For a vegan or dairy free version, substitute smoked cheese with smoked tofu.
Round courgettes stuffed with quinoa and vegetables recipe
Calories: 268 kcal
- 4 large round courgettes
- 120 gr of quinoa
- 80 gr smoked scamorza cheese (or smoked tofu)
- 40 gr of red pepper
- 6 green beans
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of chopped yellow onion
- 4-5 mint leaves
- Salt and Pepper as required
Rinse your quinoa as explained above and let it drain.
Rinse your vegetables, cut the caps of the round courgettes and remove the pulp using a corer.
Chop coarsely half the pulp (keep the remaining one and use it for other preparations).
Throw the empty courgettes and the caps in boiling salted water, after 4 minutes, pick up the caps and after 5-6 minutes pick up your courgettes and place them on a dish, do not throw the cooking water that you will also use to cook the quinoa.
In the same water, blanch the green beans for 2 minutes, then pick up and transfer them in cold water.
Cut the green beans into pieces about a centimeter long and cut the red pepper into small cubes.
Cut the smoked scamorza or tofu into small cubes too.
In a pan brown a teaspoon of onion with a tablespoon of olive oil, after two minutes add the quinoa and toast it at high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring and taking care not to burn it.
Add 130 ml of cooking water of the courgettes to the quinoa and cook it at medium heat without covering for about 5 minutes (until the water is completely absorbed), stir occasionally.
Heat the oven to 200 ° C in conventional mood.
In a pan brown a teaspoon of onion with two tablespoons of olive oil, after two minutes add the courgettes pulp and cook at high heat for about three minutes, season with salt and pepper.
When cooked add the diced beans and peppers to the courgettes pulp.
Put the quinoa together with the vegetables, add the diced scamorza cheese or tofu and the minced mint, if necessary adjust salt.
Salt the inside of the round courgettes, then stuff them generously and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and on the side (not above) put the cups too.
Bake the stuffed round courgettes for about 20 minutes (after 10 minutes take out the caps), if you want a little ‘crust’ on the surface, during the last 5 minutes turn the broiler on.
Serve your round courgettes filled with quinoa and vegetables garnishing them with mint leaves.