Friday, August 15, 2014

Harvest Ragoût-Filled Zucchini “Marrow”

It surprises a lot of people that in a previous life I was a total meat-aholic. In particular, I loved all the "end bits" left over from a dinner mom would cook - the cartilage, fat, skin and (in particular) bone marrow of that night's chicken, pork chop or steak were beloved treats, and things like oxtail soup were high on my "like" list (I always wanted to try beef heart before getting sick, too - not so much now!). Vegetables? I could take them or leave them, really, unless drenched in a sauce of some kind or smothered in salsa, hot sauce or lemon juice.

Harvest Ragoût-Filled Zucchini “Marrow”

Of course, now the tables are drastically reversed! I crave and covet veggies above all else, finding I like ones I never considered before and loving the various configurations they can be formed into. with our recent glut of zucchini, I've been making zucchini boats with various things, but when we had some truly epic-sized beasts come in I turned to the internet for more inspiration. It was good ol Mr. G that reminded me that large summer squash are often called "marrows" (although "real" marrows are a different veggie), and that label got it into my head to try a different type of stuffed zucchini variation: mock marrow bones.

The Weird Characters
Two weird characters: celeriac (L) and kohlrabi (R)

A trip to a few farmer's markets turned out to be gold for inspiration and sourcing what we didn't grow out back, too. Leeks, kohlrabi and celeriac joined the freshly-picked haul of eggplant, beets, carrots, herbs, arugula and summer squash, which I then rounded out flavour-wise with lentils, sun-dried olives, tomato paste and white wine. Finally, I took a peeler to a wedge of Parmigano Reggiano cheese for piquant ribbons that browned ever so slightly in the oven, making for a vegetarian main or elegant side dish! If you need this to be vegan / dairy free, I'd suggest a dusting of ground almonds or panko for that little bit "extra".

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Friday Frenzy

Harvest Ragoût 
Makes ~6 cups
4 large zucchini
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1 medium beet, peeled and diced into 1/8-1/4” cubes
6 oz eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/8-1/4” cubes
4 oz celeriac, peeled and diced into 1/8-1/4” cubes
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced into 1/8-1/4” cubes
1 medium head kohlrabi, diced into 1/8-1/4” cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika
¼ cup white wine, divided
1 cup cooked lentils
¼ cup minced gourmet black olives (I used sun-dried)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup fresh arugula or spinach, chopped finely
Salt and pepper, to taste
    Making the Veggie "Marrow Bones"
  1. Cut the ends off each zucchini and slice into 2-3” inch long pieces (I got 3 pieces per large zucchini).
  2. With a small, sharp spoon, apple corer or melon baller, hollow out the centre of each zucchini slice, leaving about ¼” inch of zucchini flesh intact. Set zucchini tubes aside for "marrow" recipe (see associated recipe below).
  3. Finely chop the extracted zucchini flesh and reserve.
  4. In a deep sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the leeks and cook until softened, then stir in the beet, eggplant, reserved zucchini, celeriac, carrot and kohlrabi and cover.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, covered, then uncover and sauté until almost tender.
  7. Add the garlic, thyme, basil and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  8. Add half the wine, stirring vigorously, then add the lentils, olives and tomato paste.
  9. Heat through, then add arugula and remaining wine.
  10. Re-cover the pan and cook just until the arugula wilts. Season to taste, then remove from heat and cool slightly. 
Note: you will have a lot of extra filling left over if making the "marrow" - use it on another night to stuff peppers, potatoes or more zucchini(!), or mix into rice or pasta for a rich tasting meal in a snap!

Amount Per Cup
Calories: 148.9
Total Fat: 4.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 161.1 mg
Total Carbs: 21.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.5 g
Protein: 5.7 g
Harvest Ragoût Filling

Zucchini “Marrow”
Makes 6 servings of 2 pcs each
⅓ cup crushed tomatoes (I used roasted)
4 large zucchini, prepared as directed above
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 ¼ cups Harvest Ragoût (see above)
1 ½ oz Parmigano-Reggiano, shaved with a vegetable peeler or cheese slicer 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread crushed tomatoes over the bottom of a 9” pan.
  2. Place each hollowed zucchini piece upright on the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and set aside
  3. Spoon filling into each zucchini “hollow”, slightly overfilling the cups (the filling cooks down slightly).
  4. Cover pans with foil and bake 25 minutes, then uncover, top with shavings of Parmigano-Reggiano and bake another 20 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
  5. Let stand 5 minutes before serving alongside lemon-herb rice or couscous.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 88.8
Total Fat: 3.1 g
Cholesterol: 4.8 mg
Sodium: 193.0 mg
Total Carbs: 11.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 5.9 g
Harvest Ragoût-Filled Zucchini “Marrow”