The Handbook
The Handbook

I’ve been collecting recipes for the past fifteen years. When I discover one I file it away in a box file, stuffed and wedged, in no order whatsoever, with ripped out pages from colour supplements and magazines, all waiting for the day when I finally have nothing better to do than sort them out. This recipe is a version of one of my stashed recipes.

My husband will say passive aggressive things about my box when he’s trying to make space for another of his annoying cocktail recipe books, such as, “Do you think we still need this?” And so I am forced to bring up the three trunks full to bursting with ancient plug adaptors, usb wires and paperback thrillers that commandeer the space under the stairs where I am resorted to keeping the farfalle and he quickly senses the tone and scurries away from my beloved recipe box file.

This always makes me feel like I’m on holiday in the Greek Islands (the recipe, not the box file conflict) which is peculiar because we went to Corfu last year and came across not one single courgette. It must be the feta, of which I saw and ate kilos.

Now, you’re going to think I’m being overenthusiastic with the garlic here but don’t be put off; there can never be enough garlic, as long as it’s cooked gently. And anyway, courgettes are rather lacking in flavour and are mainly water so they need all the help they can get. Enjoy with a cold glass of wine, imagining sunnier Mediterranean climes and better times ahead.

Courgettes, Garlic, Feta, Paprika with Rice

Serves 2

– 3 courgettes
– 8 cloves garlic, crushed
– 1 heaped paprika
– Salt
– 1 tbsp of chopped parsley
– 2 tbsp mild olive oil
– 70g feta
– Rice to serve

It's nicer than it looks, I promise!

And here’s how to make them…

1 – Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2 – Cut each courgette into thirds and then cut deep little pocket slits, about 2cm x 1cm, into the middle of each courgette third. You don’t need to get a ruler out! You just need a little hole in which to stuff the garlic and paprika filling.
3 – Mix the crushed garlic with the paprika, parsley, some salt and 1tbsp of the oil.
4 – Lay the courgettes into a baking dish that they will fit snugly into, and stuff the garlic filling into the little crevices and if there’s any left just pour it over the top of the courgettes.
5 – Pour the remaining 1tbsp of oil and about 150ml of water into the baking dish, to give the courgettes a nice, oily bath, and cover tightly with a lid or foil.
6 – Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the courgettes are soft.
7 – Crumble feta over the top and serve with rice.

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