I do not often think of vegetables in terms of their beauty, but there are a couple of notable exceptions. One is romanesco; it is difficult not to fall in love with a vegetable that approximates a fractal. A recent addition to my list of beautiful vegetables are the round zucchinis. It is a shame that I do not have the lyrical prowess of Nigella Lawson, as I would then be able to write a sonnet about the round zucchini.
For now, a recipe will have to do.
I saw these in a supermarket and had a flash of insight immediately: I will stuff these with some bolognese sauce. I searched around, and it seems that I am not alone in my appreciation of this rounded vegetable. An author of the recipe I used a base for my own has a longer-term fascination with the round zucchini.
The process that I used is very simple, albeit a bit long because the bolognese sauce takes time to make.
For the bolognese sauce, I used a standard recipe—if there is such a thing as a standard recipe. After making too much of the sauce, I set apart a bit more than half a litre of the mixture (equivalent to approximately making the sauce with 400 g minced meat) and reduced the sauce until there is no liquid left. This will be enough to generously fill three round zucchinis. Next, I used a mellon baller to remove the flesh from the zucchini, leaving the hole that will be filled with the sauce.
I sprinkled some salt in the cavity, added the sauce, put the stuffed zucchinis on an oven tray, surrounded them with some mushrooms, onions, extra zucchini slices, and thyme.
I sprinkled everything with salt, drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven for about 35 minutes at 200 C.
The original recipe suggests to bake at 175 C for an hour, but we had a small issue with the timing. Funny story, maybe for some other time. Let’s eat now, I am hungry.