Serious Eats: Recipes

French in a Flash: Little Stuffed Zucchinis

[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

The thing I love most about actually writing this column from France (okay, what's not to love?) is that I get to cook like the French do. I have no idea what I want to make; I just go down to the market and I pick something. Last week, the market inspired the tagliatelle with zucchini flower pistou. This week, it's stuffed zucchini.

All around the area of Nice they sell petits farcis—which means "little stuffed things"—in stalls on the street and in markets. It's made of hollowed out eggplant, zucchini, tomato, or pepper stuffed with meat, vegetable, bread or rice, and cheese. I made my own petit farcis with little, fat, cherubically round zucchinis from the market that I've wanted to try for years, and a vegetarian filling of fresh bread crumbs, zucchini flesh, mint, basil, pecorino, olive oil, garlic, onion, and chili. Stuffed to the brim with the filling and topped with a zucchini stem chapeau, the little zucchini looked charming—and, I think, slightly more elegant than the petits farcis from the street. Plus, it's one of those inexpensive and convenient dinners that comes straight from the pantry. All I have to do is pick up a few zucchini since I always have the rest of the ingredients sitting in the house.

I ate way too much of this once it came out of the oven, giving credence to the fact that this little piggy went to market.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

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