Stuffed courgettes | The Proof of the Pudding

Courgette season is still very much underway, as was evidenced by the gigantic courgette that my dad brought home from his allotment this week. With a glut of regular-sized courgettes already in the house, he offered this vegetable goliath to me, and of course I gladly accepted. Such a magnificent beast needed a fitting recipe, and keeping it (essentially) whole seemed like a nice way to cook it.

This recipe was inspired by a dish that lovely friends of ours made at a dinner party a couple of years ago. I didn’t have the exact recipe to hand, so this is a loose interpretation of the original incarnation, but I remembered the inside of the courgette being stuffed back into the filling, I remembered tomatoes being invited to the party, and I remembered two types of cheeses going in there. Let’s be honest, I mainly remembered the two types of cheese. Then garlic had to be added, as it is to basically all of our food in this household, and then a few herbs which work well with both courgettes and tomatoes made an appearance too. Although it may have deviated from the initial recipe we ate a few years ago, I’m very pleased with the results: a vibrant, vegetarian* dish packed with summery tastes. *Excuse the parmesan! Use a substitute if you’re very strictly veggie.

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main course, or 4-6 as a starter) 1 very large courgette 2 large ripe tomatoes 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp dried thyme 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed Small handful basil leaves, roughly chopped 2 mozzarella balls Small handful grated parmesan Salt and pepper

Good quality olive oil