I use small Zucchini [Qarabali/marrows], round mini ones that I harvested this week. Here is the shrub and we ate these vegetables literally within a couple of hours from when they were harvested.  You cannot get much fresher than that !

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Just to give you an idea of the size here these are the mini zucchini I am using for this recipe compared with a regular sized one

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I scooped out the flesh and used it to add to my vegetable soup.   Then I filled the zucchini with a ricotta mix and roasted them in the oven.

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This is a gluten free, nut free recipe and you will need :

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12 mini zucchini, scooped out
200g ricotta
1 egg
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped, remove stems
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Finely grated zest of 1/4 lemon
[Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper, optional]

nutmeg

My star ingredient for flavour is nutmeg.

For the best flavour,  use whole and grate just the amount you need.  It should always be used in moderation, a little amount goes a long way in flaour.  Whole nutmeg has a long shelf life and will keep for a few years if stored properly.   Ground nutmeg quickly loses its flavour.

Immerse the scooped out zucchini in boiling water and leave for 5 minutes.

Mash the ricotta with a fork. Add the egg, parsley, nutmeg, lemon zest, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix until it is consistent.
Place the mixture into a piping bag, no nozzle needed. Pipe the mixture into the cavity.

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Place in an ovenproof dish covered with baking paper.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Roast in a hot oven preheated 180 C for 25 minutes.
Serve as a starter or with drinks instead of canapes.
They can also be eaten as a main course with a salad or as a side with a main meal.

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Nutmeg and a range of spices and dried herbs are imported, packed and distributed by Lamb Brand

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Local produce by Big Fresh

Photos: Rachel Muscat

Fresh maltese seasonal vegetables by Big Fresh photo Rachel Muscat

Can’t praise local fruit and vegetables more. I enjoy every part of the process from having the privilege to harvest them sometimes to preparing them and sharing them at my table. The freshness and flavor is unique. It is so important to support our local farmers so that these beauties full of goodness can survive the harsh reality of competition from imported produce.

For an easy zucchini ginger and coconut soup click here

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