If you can’t get enough of veggies in your diet then make them the hero ingredient of your meat recipe with this scrumptious recipe for stuffed courgettes filled with lamb, pine nuts and pearl barley. It is wholesome, filling and totally satisfying! If you have a vegetarian in the family then omit the lamb and you will have a delicious vegetarian main course.
This recipe is loaded with spices, fresh oregano and cherry tomatoes which exudes a taste of the Mediterranean in a less than traditional way. Even a picky vegetable eater will love this dish as the combination of the courgette with the filling will make the vegetable taste even better. And it’s a fun way to eat them!
Let’s Talk About The Ingredients
- Courgettes. These are the hero of the dish so make sure you choose firm courgettes. You don’t want them to be too soft or they won’t hold their shape when cooked. I prefer using round courgettes but you may also use the traditional shaped courgettes, but make sure you choose large, bulky ones so there is room to fill them. With long courgettes you slice them lengthways before baking.
- Pearl Barley. This is a delicious grain which is under utilised as most people believe it is just used for soups or stews. But it is perfect as a staple and main ingredient in side dishes and salads. Pearl barley is an ancient wheat which has a nutty flavour and the gluten is easier to digest than modern wheat gluten. Its hull protects it from pollutants and insects, so it is not normally treated with pesticides as it is resistant to insects which are harmful to other crops. It is extremely nutritious as the hull is removed just before milling so it retains it’s nutrients. In this recipe it adds texture to the filling which I love.
- Herbs and Spices. I use spices you would normally use in baking: cinnamon, cloves and ginger. These spices always complement lamb dishes especially Moroccan dishes and really lend a distinct flavour to this dish. Of course smoked paprika is a must in this Mediterranean recipe and is one of my most used spices. Oregano is an aromatic herb so compliments this dish perfectly.
- Lamb. I use minced lamb in this dish but you can also use beef.
- Parmesan Cheese. I add this cheese at the end of the dish and it brings to to another level with a smoky salty taste.
- Pine Nuts.I love adding pine nuts to my lamb dishes and it adds extra protein.
- Cherry Tomatoes. I prefer to use these than whole chopped tomatoes as they lend a sweetness to the filling. But by all means use chopped tomatoes.
Why You Will Love this Recipe For Courgettes Stuffed With Lamb, Pine Nuts and Pearl Barley
- Fragrant. With the addition of cinnamon, cloves and ginger you have a deliciously fragrant dish.
- Adaptable. This recipe calls for minced lamb but you can substitute it with beef or omit the meat altogether and add extra vegetables for a vegetarian dish. You may also use spelt instead of pearl barley although allow for extra cooking time.
- Healthy. By making the courgette the main part of the dish you are making this more of a veggie dish than a meat dinner. The filling of wholemeal spelt makes it wholesome and full of fibre. Cherry tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants.
- Easy. This isn’t a difficult dish to make so is the prefect midweek supper and can be prepared in advance.
- Time. If you are pushed for time then you can make the filling the day before. Pearlbarley can take time to cook so cook it when you have the time! Then when it comes to dinner time you have virtually no work to do!
Tip Of The Day
Don’t overcook the pearl barley. We are inclined to think al dente is under cooked. But it lends to the nutty texture of the dish and can continue cooking in the oven.
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Courgettes stuffed with lamb, pine nuts and pearl barley flavoured with aromatic spices and herbs made in the thermomix then baked in the oven for perfection
200g whole pearl barley
450 ml vegetable stock
6 round courgettes
2 medium sized onions
250g minced lamb
1 lamb stock cube, dissolved in 10ml boiling water
2 tablespoons paprika
pinch of ground cloves
50g parmesan cheese, grated
1 large handful fresh oregano and extra sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons tomato puree
20g pine nuts
100g mixed cherry tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F.
Add the parmesan cheese to the TM bowl and grate 5 seconds, speed 8. Reserve in a separate bowl.
Add the oregano (reserving some whole leaves for garnish) and chop 3 seconds, speed 8. Reserve.
Cook the pearl barley first. Add the vegetable stock and pearl barley to the TM bowl and cook 25 minutes, 100˚C, reverse speed spoon. Reserve until required.
Wash the courgettes and slice the tops off. Place them together with the tops on a lined baking tray. Brush with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut a round shape and scoop out the flesh. Dice and reserve for the filling.
To prepare the filling, add the onions and garlic to the TM bowl. Chop 5 seconds, speed 5. Add the olive oil and sweat 5 minutes, 80˚C, speed 2.
Add the minced lamb and cook 3 minutes, 100˚C, reverse speed spoon. Add the tomato puree, lamb paprika, cinnamon and ground cloves and cook 3 minutes, 80˚C, reverse speed spoon.
Add the cooked pearl barley, and tomato puree. Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water and add to the lamb. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes, 80 ˚C, reverse speed spoon.
Mix in the diced courgette flesh, chopped fresh oregano and pine nuts with the spatula and season to taste.
Drain the water that has collected at the bottom of the courgettes before filling.
Now spoon the delicious filling into the courgettes. Replace the lid of the courgette and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with colourful cherry tomatoes. Replace in the oven for 5 minutes.
Garnish with a sprig of oregano and serve immediately.
You may also use the traditional shaped courgettes, but make sure you choose large, bulky ones so there is room to fill them. Slice these lengthways before baking. Lessen the cooking time by 5 minutes.
You may use whole spelt instead of pearl barley but add extra water and allow for double extra cooking time.
Keywords: Courgettes stuffed with lamb