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I discovered a version of this dish a few years ago from an online recipe site that called it courgette kayak but the word for rowboat is also used for sandal shoes (interchangeably with sandlet) so for a long long time I thought these were called courgette sandals and I giggled when I ate them. Dafty! 

I imagined because of the name too that they were a recipe from the modern Turkish kitchen and I was suprısied when I finally managed to get my hands on Tuğral Şavkay's book Osmanlı mutfağı that this dish goes back as far as to Ottoman reign.

Ottman dishes can be really rich but there are so fabulous vegetable-based ones that don't require adjourning to the harem for a siesta, this courgettes one definitely being one of them. 

 

Two baked courgette halves on a vintage plate topped with turkish cheeses and herbs. Peas and new potatoes in backgrouns

 

I've always loved courgettes dishes come the summer months here in Turkey which is convenient as this year we're growing courgettes for the first time.

We have three plants and so far they've been keeping us in courgettes well and ı'm loving all the Turkish courgettes recipes (Hubby not so much - this is the only one he truly likes...reluctantly) 

I'm trying not to let them get too big because I favour smaller courgettes but they grow so quickly don't they but for this dish big is good because it holds all that extra tasty filling.

 

 

Lor is a Turkish cheese that is made in the same method as whole milk ricotta but usually cooked until firmer. If you cant get hold of it or prefer salted ricotta would make a great substitute, a little creamy white cheese is added for smoothness and nigella seeds for a smoky spicy crunch. 

 

Turkish courgettes - kabak in a baking dish pre cooked and with centre scooped out. Turkish cheeses and herbs in a bowl and egg in small turkish handmade bowl.

 

Parsley and dill work so well and then the whole thing is brought together with an egg before being topped with sharp cheese.

It's so easy I'm sure even the Sultan would be able to make it for himself if he could ever find the palace kitchens unaided! 

The courgettes are boiled to pre-cook before going into the oven so that the filling doesn't overcook and they get the chance to crisp up on the edge. Es

The centre could be scooped out before cooking but I find it much easier to do after they've been boiled - but don't toss the centre portion it's great to add to fritters (Kabak Mücver With Lemon & Paprika) next time you're making them.... which let's be honest if your growing them is very very soon but also works in soups and stews too!

 

 

It works well as a main especially with a niceşy dressed salad, but also as a side-sish or as part of a spread Turkish style. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

 

Cheesy Baked Courgette

These cheese-loaded courgettes work well as a light summer main or as a side dish. Light cheese curds are mixed with a creamy white cheese that is packed with herbs and a smokey nutty bite from nigella seeds and ground nutmeg. Topped with sharp browned cheese for extra indulgence.

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Category: Vegetable based dishes 'Zeytinyağlılar'
Seasons
Cuisine Type Turkish

Ingredients

Per each Two courgettes

2 Medium to Large Courgettes
8 Tablespoons Turkish curd cheese (Lor)
50 Grams Soft white cheese (Süzme peynir)
3 Spring onions, chopped fine
1 Small Garlic clove, minced
Small handful of parsley, chopped fine
Small handful of dill, chopped fine
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper
2 Teaspoons Nigella seeds
Nutmeg
1 Small egg

Foe topping

Gravyer cheese or similar

Cheesy Baked Courgette Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees.
  2. Place a large saucepan of water on the boil.
    Cut the courgette lengthways through the middle to make two half pieces.
    Place into the boiling water and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. (The fresher and therefore firmer the vegetabşe the longer time it will require).
  3. Remove from the water and allow to cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out the central portion of the courgette, removing the seeds.
  5. Place to the side while you prepare the stuffing.
  6. In a bowl mix together the lor - cheese curd, white cheese, spring onion, seasonings and the herbs
    Add the nigella seeds and 2 - 3 grates of whole nutmeg.
  7. Gently whisk an egg and combine with the cheese mixture.
  8. Place the courgettes into a baking tray / dish and place the filling into the hollows of the courgettes and top with the grated gravyer / Kaşar cheese.
  9. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

Recipe notes

  • This dish works well as a side using a half large courgette per person or as a main, one courgette per person. For that reason, I have given the amounts of the ingredients for 2 courgettes but you can double up as required.

 

  • Lor is a Turkish cheese that is made in the same method as whole milk ricotta but usually cooked until firmer. If you cant get hold of it or prefer salted ricotta would make a great substitute.

 

  • Gravyer, Turkeys answer to Gruyeresis my topping choice because it gives a strong sharp taste. Any other mature cheese including Eşki kaşar would work just as well.,

 

  • Adjust the pre-boil cooking time to the size and firmness of your courgettes as well as personal choice.

 

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Pinable image for Turkish loaded courgettes. Picture shows a an oven dishes with cheese stuffed courgettes and yellow tea towel. Text overlay reads: Turkish Cheese Stuffed. #Turkishrecipes #Courgetterecipes #Stuffedvegetables #Kabaksandal #Turkishcooking
Pinable image for Turkish loaded courgettes. Picture shows a an oven dishes with cheese stuffed courgettes and yellow tea towel. Text overlay reads: Cheese Stuffed Courgette Boats. #Turkishrecipes #Courgetterecipes #Stuffedvegetables #Kabaksandal #Turkishcooking
 

 

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    A journey through, taste, land, customs, and history by means of the Turkish kitchen.

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