Zucchini Shoes and a casserole with left overs

The Zucchini Shoes recipe has been lying in my drafts for a very long time. I had baked it soon after Easter. the funny thing about this dish it that though we were not very excited about the zucchini shoes themselves, we loved the casserole that i made with the left over  chickpea filling and sauce. and since I had not taken any pictures of the casserole i deferred posting the recipe all together. anyway, last week there was some boiled chickpeas left over from another dish so i decided to bake "the casserole" again. and this time i clicked a few images before we gorged in.

you might wonder why the urgency of posting the recipe of the zucchini shoes if we did not love it. thats because i didn't know what to call my casserole and its easier to tell you the story this way. 

now the recipe of the zucchini shoes as adapted from Aphrodite Polemis's cookbook From a Traditional Greek Kitchen....

Kolokithia Papoutsakia or Stuffed Zucchini "Little Shoes"
  • 4 medium sized zucchini, washed and trimmed
for the filling 
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas, lightly mashed
  • 1 plum tomato, diced 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • salt and black pepper to taste
for the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 teapoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1-2 teaspoon dried chives*(optional)
what i did
  • i placed the zucchinis in a large saucepan filled with water and cooked them in it for 15 minutes. 
  • then draining off i rinsed the cooked zucchinis in cold water.
  • i then cut a 3/4 inch wide lengthwise slice from each zucchini, scooped out the pulp and kept the cooked zucchini skin and the pulp separately.
  • next i made the filling as follows.
    • i heated the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, sauteed the onions with garlic, celery, parsley, oregano and thyme, until the onions and celery softened. 
    • then i added the tomato, tomato sauce, the chickpeas and zucchini pulp  in the saucepan, seasoned it with salt, pepper and paprika and cooked them together over medium heat for about 10  minutes. i then added 1/4 cup water, lightly mashed the ingredients in the saucepan and simmered the mixture until became thickened. then i turned off the heat and kept the filling aside.
  • next i made the sauce for the topping. 
    • for the sauce, i melted the butter in a saucepan over low heat, then added the flour and whisked for about 2 minutes.
    • when  the mixture became frothy, simmering the flame and whisking continuously i added the hot milk and cooked over medium-low flame until the sauce began to thicken.
    • i then stirred in the mustard, nutmeg , cheese and salt and pepper to taste, removed the pan from the heat and kept it aside.
  • now that all the stuffing and the sauce was ready i preheated the oven to 425 degrees F,  greased a 8x8 inch baking pan and arranged the zucchini in a row. then filled each with the stuffing mixture and spooned the sauce on top. smoothing the sauce, i sprinkled the dried chive on top of the sauce, then transferring the pan to the oven baked the stuffed zucchinis for 20-25 minutes until the surface looked golden.
    once done, i served the "little shoes" with the Moroccan Orange Couscous that I had made to go with it. i must say that the two paired well. The spices in the Moroccan Couscous took care of the flatness of the zucchini shoes. so as a team they were fine. our complain about these little shoes was that in contrast to the lovely filling, the zucchini shell felt bland. and therefore even as starters these felt flat. may be that is how it is supposed to be... but after all the other delicious Greek dishes we had tried, we expected a little more...  anyway that was about the little shoes...

    so after i had finished stuffing "the shoes" i realized there was enough chickpea filling left to cook up something for next days lunch and this is what i made....
    a super-simplified version of moussaka with zucchini...

    recipe for the casserole with left overs
    for this i diced a few slices of bread, tossed the bread pieces in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, added a tablespoon of orange juice to the bread slices, seasoned them with salt and pepper and spread them in a loaf pan. I  then layered the remaining chickpea filling over it, made a second batch of the sauce and poured over the chickpea filling. then topping it with crushed colorful cereal pops i baked the casserole in a preheated 425 degree F oven until the surface turned golden.

    for whatever reason the casserole with leftovers tasted really good and has now become one of our new dinner time favorites. 

    Lately, I have been cooking a lot of interesting dishes, but not posting as much because we finally decided to experiment with film photography for food. the first roll is almost over. so expect a recipe  gush next week.

    Stay safe and have a great weekend. in case you are planning a movie night check out 
    The Intouchables. It is a 2011 movie. but we saw it last week and are still reminiscing scenes from it.   

    Sharing this with the following weekly food events
    Tuesday Food:  Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with GraceTotally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe BoxTasteful Tuesday Party @ Nap Time Creations,  Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home,  Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug BlessingsShare it Link Party @ Winthrop ChroniclesSlightly Indulgent Tuesday 

    and here are few products from amazon that you may like. the first one is a yogurt maker and the forth item a yogurt cheese maker. wouldn't it be nice to have them in the kitchen... 


    1. These sound very interesting. The Morrocan Couscous sounds wonderful though! Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friday

    2. I would love for you to share and link up at my TGIF Link Party.

      Hugs, Cathy

    3. Congrats your recipe is being featured on foodie friday today. I will be pinning and tweeting it too. Thank you so much for being part of our party.

    4. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a very special Mothers Day Weekend and come back soon!
      Miz Helen


    Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

    Take care and come back soon.
    Best, Tanusree

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