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Dolma, moussaka, and koftas: Aleksandar Taralezhkov’s summer time courgette recipes | Summer foods and drinks


You say zucchini; I say courgettes (or tikvichka in Bulgarian). In the Balkans, on the peak of summer time, we cherish this often-understated vegetable for its lightness. They are the present that helps to keep on giving, rising abundantly. I’m specifically concerned about its skill to each pack severe flavour by itself and to permit different elements to polish. As a rule, courgettes are just right buddies with yoghurt, garlic and dill, which enhance them superbly. These two recipes each deliver fond reminiscences of circle of relatives. Nostalgia apart, they’re additionally extraordinarily fast and simple.

Courgette dolma

A gorgeous, gentle, summery dish that occurs to be plant-based. In Bulgarian tradition, we name foods that don’t function meat postno, and generally have a chosen day of the week after we don’t consume meat. “I think like postno these days” is a word that comes up usally when making lunch or dinner plans in Sofia. We see it so to succeed in a just right, balanced vitamin. Serve at room temperature with tahini sauce combined with lemon juice and a few uncooked chopped garlic for added punch.

Prep 30 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 4

150g bulgur wheat
2 onions
, peeled and diced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium tomato
, grated
2 tsp salt
480ml vegetable inventory
½ bunch dill
, picked
4 courgettes
1 small handful currants

Dry roast the bulgur in a pan on a medium-high warmth for 5 to 6 mins – that is the important thing to the flavor of this dish, and it’ll odor gorgeous. Don’t be afraid to let probably the most grains catch and char. Tip the bulgur right into a bowl, then sweat the onions in two tablespoons of oil till cushy and translucent. Reintroduce the bulgur to the pan with the grated tomato, salt and about 60ml of the inventory and depart the wheat to take in the liquid. Stir within the dill and put aside to chill. The bulgur must nonetheless have somewhat chunk, as it’s best semi-cooked.

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gasoline 9. While it’s heating up, get ready the courgettes for stuffing. If the surface is at the thick aspect, use a serrated knife to scrape them off gently. Cut the courgettes into kind of 2cm-thick rounds, and use an apple corer or a knife to chop out the centre of each and every slice.

Stuff each and every courgette spherical with the bulgur combination. Scatter any extra filling over the ground of an oiled oven tray, prepare the courgette rounds smartly on most sensible, then push a couple of currants into each dolma.

Gently pour the remainder inventory into the pan, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, then quilt tightly with foil Bake for half-hour, then take away, discover straight away and put aside to chill. Serve at room temperature with some creamy, lemony tahini sauce in a bowl at the aspect.

Courgette and parsley koftas

Koftas, or kyofteh in Bulgaria, are any combination formed into patties or balls. In summer time, a vintage vegetable kofta is made with courgettes. I like the mix with parsley, however be at liberty to experiment with different herbs: I as soon as made a very good model with wild candy fennel.

Prep 35 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4

For the kofta
500g courgettes
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
, crushed
2 spring onions
, trimmed and finely chopped
100g feta, crumbled
40g oats
2 tsp floor black pepper
1 bunch parsley
, leaves picked and finely chopped
Olive oil, for frying

For the sauce
300g yoghurt
1 handful dill leaves
, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
6 radishes, finely diced

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