Stuffed zucchini - light, summer version

I bumped into these lovely round zucchinis at the market of Bagnol-sur-Cèze and I immediately envisioned them stuffed for a light, summer lunch. I created the below recipe with things that I had at home and it turned out a lovely, flavorsome veggie dish with the refreshing green aromas of the basil: to be included in the family repertoire! A nice rose vine, some cheese and fruit afterwards and a siesta away from the heat can make it a truly enjoyable lunch!;) 

If you have no round zucchinis then the standard ones will do, too.

 

Ingredients

- 6 round zucchinis - 2 cups of cooked wheat grains (blé) - you can substitute it with cooked rice, cooked couscous or quinoa - 4 big slices of cooked ham chopped up into small pieces - 4 tbsp of olive oil - 2 cloves of garlic crushed - 1 cup of finely grated cheese - 1 egg - a handful of finely chopped fresh basil - salt and pepper

Method

Wash the zucchinis and cut the top off (keep them) and scoop out the flesh with a spoon leaving only about 5-10 mm thickness around. Chop up the zucchini flesh and fry them up with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic - not much liquid should be left or otherwise strain it. Mix it together with the cooked wheat grains (or your choice of grains), with the cheese, the chopped ham, the egg salt and pepper and the chopped basil. Put the stuffing into the emptied zucchinis (press it down with a spoon so that the filling is generous) put back the top and drizzle it all with olive oils. Bake it in the oven in a lined baking tray at 180 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until the zucchini shell cooks through. If you want the top of the filling to be grilled a bit (my kids love it that way) then you can take off the top for the baking until you have the desired effect.
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