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Lentil-stuffed courgettes with ricotta and fresh mint sauce

Lentil-stuffed courgettes, ricotta, fresh mint sauce

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This summery dish is best served at room temperature rather than hot straight from the grill, so it’s handy to make ahead of time as part of a mezze spread.

Ingredients

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Method

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1
Tip the lentils into a sieve and rinse well under cold running water, then transfer to a pan. Cover with cold water, add the onion and bay leaves and set on the hob over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cook until the lentils are tender (about 30 minutes). Drain well, tip into a bowl, add half the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside
2
Make the mint sauce by pouring the boiling water into a heatproof jug and stirring in the sugar and a little salt until dissolved. Add the mint and vinegar, stir well and set aside. Fire up your barbecue ready for direct grilling
3
Fire up your barbecue ready for direct grilling or preheat a griddle pan over a high heat
4
Slice the courgettes in half lengthways, then cut small criss-cross slashes down the cut face, first in one direction, then in the other, to make a diamond pattern. This will help the heat to penetrate the courgettes. Drizzle over the tablespoon of olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Lay the courgettes cut-side down on the grill or griddle pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until the flesh is soft. Transfer them to a baking tray, cut-side upwards, and leave to cool for a few minutes
5
Use a teaspoon to scoop out the flesh from the centre of each courgette, leaving a 5mm border around the sides. Chop the flesh and stir through the lentils, then spoon this mix into the courgette shells. Rest the baking tray directly on the grill bars and shut the barbecue lid. Cook for 12–15 minutes, until the courgettes are soft on the underside. Remove the tray and set aside to cool to room temperature. If you're not cooking these on the barbecue, roast in an oven preheated to 180°C/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes
6
Once cool, carefully transfer the courgettes to a serving plate using a fish slice – they will be quite delicate. Dot the top with the ricotta and drizzle over the mint sauce and the rest of the extra virgin olive oil. Add a final grind of pepper before serving
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