Filled with bacon and tomato, this brightly coloured dish, with its vivid pink, green, white and red never fails to stimulate the appetite - which is what every appetiser should do. Serve as a starter, or with an omelette for supper.
4 medium and straight courgettes
1 large ripe tomato
45g (1½ oz) butter
1 small onion or shallot
125g (4oz) unsmoked bacon, in a piece
1 tsp fresh herbs: e.g. oregano, mint, chives, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper
You will need a medium sized oven-to-table dish, or a small roasting tin.
Peel the courgettes lengthways in stripes (for a decorative effect) and cut each into two long pieces. Like little dugout canoes, hollow them out and trim the ends. Cut a very fine strip off the bottom of each, to prevent them rolling.
Cook the courgettes for 1minute, well-submerged in a pan of boiling, salted water. Drain well.
Meanwhile halve the tomato, remove the seeds and juice, and chop the flesh.
Preheat oven to 200°C, set to Convection, rack position B.
Put the dish in the oven to heat. In a frying pan, melt the butter and cook the onion gently for 5 minutes. Chop the bacon into
small cubes, add it to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Off the heat, add the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper (careful with the salt) and pile into the courgettes. Place in the hot dish and bake for 7-10 minutes, until bubbling.