Ligurian Stuffed Vegetables
This style of stuffed vegetables is a delightful culinary tradition from the coastal region of Liguria, Italy.
The origins of stuffed vegetables can be traced back to ancient Roman times, where the technique was used to make the most of seasonal ingredients. In Liguria, a variety of vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes are hollowed out and filled with a delicious mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, and sometimes meat or seafood. The stuffed vegetables are then baked to perfection, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Ligurian-style stuffed vegetables offer a delightful and nutritious way to enjoy the abundance of the Mediterranean, inviting you to experience the rich culinary heritage of Liguria.
You will find plenty of variations for this recipe (some people, for example, add Bologna ham, milk and basil in the stuffing and boil the vegetables beforehand). This is how our grandmothers used to make it, but feel free to explore and make your own adjustments. Have fun!
How to make Ligurian stuffed vegetables!
In a marble mortar, beat the garlic, some of the herbs and some grains of coarse salt until they have a creamy appearance.
Put the stale bread in a bowl with warm water (some people use milk, but I prefer to keep it lighter).
On a cutting board, finely chop half onion and the parsley.
Now rinse the bread, keeping aside the water. Tear it into tiny bits with your fingers and place it into the mortar, together with the chopped onion and parsley. Add the eggs, the Parmesan cheese and the prescinseua cheese. If it looks too soft, you can add some breadcrumbs; if it is too hard, add some of the water you used for the bread. Taste the stuffing to check if it is good, but try not to eat it all!
Peel, wash and cut into very thin slices the potatoes, pour into a pan greased with the oil, creating a thin layer. Sprinkle some salt and oregano onto the potatoes.
Wash the pepper and the onion and, cutting them into pieces, use them to make little containers for the stuffing. Lay all your stuffed vegetables on the potatoes, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and bake them into the oven for 40 minutes (200° C, 392° F).
Stuffed vegetables are delicious even when eaten cold.
You can use also zucchini, but you need to boil them before stuffing them. The core can be added to the filling as well.
Have fun and buon appetito!