Courgettes stuffed with Ebly “risotto”

This recipe uses little round courgettes. If you can’t get them, the risotto will do equally well in peppers or onions — or indeed on its own, or as an accompaniment to something else.

Serves 4, or 8 as a starter.

8 round courgettes
150 g parmesan, grated
200 g Ebly
1 red or orange pepper
3 branches celery
1 onion
about 3/4 litre chicken or vegetable stock
50 g butter
salt and pepper

Boil up the stock and keep warm. Cut all the vegetables (except the courgettes obviously) into small dice. Melt the butter in a wide pan and let the vegetables soften without colouring for 5 minutes. Pour in about a third of the stock, bring to the boil, and add the saffron. Pour in the Ebly and cook over a low heat, adding more stock as it is absorbed — exactly as you would do for a risotto. It should take about 20 minutes for the wheat to become tender, and for the liquid to be absorbed (there should be some stock left over though). Add two thirds of the grated parmesan and stir in.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 210C. Slice a lid off the courgettes and scrape out the insides with a teaspoon. Fill with the risotto (it looks nicer if you overfill them slightly), and sprinkle the rest of the parmesan on top. Replace the lids.

Put the courgettes in an oiled roasting tin and add stock to a depth of about 2 cm. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the courgettes are tender.

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