This Recipe includes
|Brousse cheese (alternative Ricotta)|
|Crushed Garlic cloves|
|Salt and pepper|
Why we love it
Stuffed zucchini boats with cheese, otherwise known as Courgette farcie à la brousse in French, are the perfect side dish to any meal. They’re low in calories and best of all, loaded with deliciousness.
Zucchinis are quite a versatile summer vegetable and they are a great way to add extra fiber to your diet. Stuffing them with cheese is a fun way to sneak in a few extra nutrients, too.
I should note that this is quite a popular recipe in France, a country that is not exactly known for its vegetarian cuisine. The concept of “farci” meaning stuffing, usually a vegetable stuffed with something else, is a staple in mediterranean and provençale cuisine.
Often minced meat or lardons are used for the stuffing, but with the malleable zucchini, why not try cheese instead? If you are trying to get the kids to get their veggies, this recipe may just hit the spot. (Who doesn’t love the zucchini, I ask you?!)
Brousse cheese comes from the Provençal/Corsican appelation brousso and is a white and lumpy whey cheese made of whey from cow, sheep or goat milk. Now, brousse is very easy to find in France, but I do realize it is not as well known as its Italian cousin, the ricotta. If you cannot find brousse cheese, you can use ricotta, as the two are very similar.
Once you have the cheese sorted, the rest of the recipe is quite simple and easy. Now, some people will be tempted to skip the part where you have to blanche the zucchini, but I can assure you it will only add to the flavor and that bright green look when serving.
You can enjoy them as an appetizer or an easy and healthy main course. Eating it doesn’t have to leave you feeling like you just ate a heavy meal. So let’s get how to blanch those vegetables and make those cheese-stuffed zucchinis, shall we? Allons-y!
Blanching the Zucchini
Certain green vegetables like the zucchini need to be lightly cooked to soften and reduce their fiber content. Doing a quick 1-minute blanche in boiling water will also make it more radiant and vibrant:
- Prepare a large pot of boiling water, and add a dash of salt.
- Fill a 2nd large bowl with ice water and keep it on the side.
- Remove the tough bottoms and any extraneous portions of the zucchini.
- Put each set of trimmed vegetables into the boiling water, one at a time.
- Stir and let cook for 1 minute.
- Remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge in the ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Repeat the process for all the zucchini that you want to cook.
- Once all zucchini are blanched, store them in covered containers until you are ready to use.
You can read more about blanching zucchini here.
What to serve with it?
In France, courgette farcie a la brousse (aka stuffed zucchini boats) are usually served as a vegetable side dish along with some oven-baked chicken or rôti de boeuf (beef).
For a lighter meal, you can also serve it with a salad and some baguette, or rice to make a meal out of it.
What drinks to serve?
How to store it?
You can prepare these stuffed zucchini boats a few hours in advance and place them in the fridge.
If you wish to freeze the zucchini, I recommend freezing them before the cheese is added to the top. After cooking on the stove top, place them on a paper towel and dry them as much as possible to prevent ice crystals from forming.
Place in an airtight freezer container and they should last about 1-2 months. To defrost, place them back in the pan to heat and once done, add the cheese and place in the oven.
- Roasted eggplant cubes with garlic and parsley
- Bohemian aubergines (eggplant)
- French zucchini flan
- Cheesy cauliflower gratin
Stuffed Zucchini boats with cheese
- 4 round zucchinis
- 300 g of brousse cheese or ricotta*
- 4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 egg (optional)
- Wash the zucchinis and cut them in half lengthwise.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the insides into a bowl for the stuffing.
- In the bowl, add the cheese, egg, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper and mix well.
- In a saucepan, blanch the zucchini boats for 5 minutes in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water. (See instructions above).
- Cool immediately in a large volume of cold water, then drain them turned upside down on absorbent paper.
- In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add the stuffing mixture into the frying pan and cook for 10 minutes.
- Place the hollowed out zucchinis on a baking tray and top them with the cooked stuffing.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350F (180C).
- Serve while warm.
If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French recipes that are easy to prepare. Bon appétit and à bientôt !