Persian Stuffed Courgette with Dill and Pistachio Nuts2015-06-09
- Servings : 3-6
- Prep Time : 15m
- Cook Time : 40m
- Ready In : 55m
Persian Stuffed Courgette with Dill and Pistachio Nuts is a great dish with a variety of tastes and textures. Typical of Persian food, cooking under a grill gives a little crunch to the rice and the nuts which contrasts well with the softness of the courgette. The orange gives a lovely citrus flavour which compliments the sweetness of the apricots. This can be served on it’s own as a light vegetarian meal or as a side dish.
Note: Dry roast the pistachios by dry frying them in a small frying pan for 1-2 minutes, until they start to change colour.
- 6 medium courgettes
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 140g basmati rice, washed in fresh water, leave to drain and dry in a sieve
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 7cm stick cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 310ml water
- 8 dried apricots, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp grated orange rind
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 45g pistachios, shelled, dry roasted, chopped
- small handful fresh dill, chopped
- small handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 60g feta-type cheese, crumbled
- 400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5.
Clean the courgette and cut them in half lengthways. Scoop out the flesh leaving the shell about ½ cm thick. Chop the pulp. Place the courgette halves, cut side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper or lightly oiled. Sprinkle with half of the salt and half of the black pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes until tender.
Heat a saucepan over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the rice, cardamom and cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes, until the rice is opaque, stirring frequently. Add half of the remaining salt and pepper plus the cumin, chilli and the water. Bring to the boil and cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the apricots. Cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon and cardamom. Spoon the mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool a little.
Preheat the grill to a medium temperature.
Combine the remaining oil, salt and pepper, and the orange rind and juices in a bowl and stir together to make a dressing. Add the dressing, courgette pulp, pistachios, herbs, cheese and chickpeas to the rice mixture. Toss well to mix.
Spoon the mixture evenly between the courgette shells and put under the grill for about 6 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve.