Tonight I made more good (in fact, delicious) use of the summer vegetables I bought the other day at the farm. The recipe I used is from Alain Ducasse, and the concept is to stuff a variety of vegetables with several meats, mushrooms and cheese, along with a small amount of the vegetable that is being stuffed.
Chef Ducasse suggests that the stuffed vegetables may include: tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and onions. For this meal I used just tomatoes and zucchini. When you are stuffing the eggplant and the tomatoes, the vegetables that go into the filling are supposed to be pre-roasted. I did not have time to do this step, so for the tomatoes I used the filling straight, omitting the tomato confit that was called for in the recipe. Otherwise I followed the instructions more or less as written. The quantity made by the recipe is enough to serve 4-6 people.
First, mince 4 small shallots, 1 clove of garlic, and 1/4 lb mushrooms. Saute the shallots for a minute in a little olive oil and butter over medium heat . Add the garlic, and saute for another minute.
Next add the mushrooms, and saute for an additional minute, then add an extra tablespoonful of olive oil. Optionally, add 2 tablespoons of chopped black truffles to the mixture along with a tablespoonful of truffle oil in place of the olive oil. I added the truffles and they were wonderful!
Set the mushroom and shallot mixture aside.
Next chop 3/4 lb chicken breasts and 2/3 lb boneless leg of lamb into 2-inch chunks, and saute in olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt, and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Alain Ducasse advises to leave the meat a little undercooked to avoid drying it out, as it will finish cooking inside the vegetables later on.
Add 1/2 lb of chopped boiled ham to the mixture, then finely mince the meats.
Add the minced meats to the mushroom/shallot mixture, along with 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
Next scoop out the flesh of the vegetables you want to use, and leave the shell to be stuffed with the filling. You can reserve the flesh of the tomatoes, as I did, for a later use. (I will probably use them in a sauce.)
Stuff the vegetables, topping them with their reserved "caps" if desired, as I did with the zucchini below.
Drizzle the vegetables with a little olive oil, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables are browned. I put mine under the broiler for a few minutes at the end for extra browning.
Compose a simple salad by drizzling a mesclun mix with lemon and olive oil and sprinkling with a little salt, then mound the salad on a plate and top with the vegetables.