Stuffed vegetables are my favorite dishes all year round because our options to stuff plants are abundant in nature! Some of these options are peppers, grape leaves, cabbage leaves, squash, eggplants, tomatoes, and flowers. I like experimenting in the kitchen even when I use a recipe from a cook book. Sometimes I just think about how something I have tried might have been made and just try to make that following my instincts. It is fun and you learn a lot. In this recipe I followed my mother’s cooking style and mixed it with the flavours I want to taste. Think plenty of veggies, and mediterranean spices. Here we go!
- 3 zucchini squash: halved (they shouldn’t be too thin, choose thick and even ones)
- 2 cups of shiitake mushrooms: chopped
- 2 medium red or yellow onions: finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of kalamata olives: halved
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley: chopped
- 4 medium carrots (shredded)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1,5 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbs freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup of red pepper paste or tomato paste if not available
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium tomatoes: to be used to cap the squashes at the end.
- Mix all dried spices inside a small bowl.
- Gently scoop all 3 the halved zucchini and place the insides in a bowl. Dab your fingers or use a brush to rub dried spices inside the zucchini. Keep the rest of the spices to mix with the filling while cooking.
- In a large cast iron skillet put some olive oil and add the onions, cook lightly in low to medium heat so that the oil doesn’t get burned. After 3-4 mins add mushrooms and stir occasionally for 8-10 mins.
- Add shredded carrots and the rest of the spice mix and stir again, leave for cooking for 3-4 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add parsley, stir the mix again.
- After letting the filling cool for a few minutes use a spoon to stuff the squashes almost to the top cut each tomato with their skins to cap the squashes.
- Mix pepper paste with 2 cups of warm water.
- In a pot that you all fit the squashes upright and close together place all the stuffed squashes and pour the pepper paste water into the bottom of the pot.
- Cook for about 35-40 minutes in medium heat.
You can use the insides that you scooped out to make frittata or pancakes!
Afiyet olsun! (May it be healthful in Turkish)