Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Little Shoes

These are essentially hollowed out and stuffed zucchinis/courgettes or aubergines/eggplant 

They are called 'papoutsakia', little shoes, for obvious reasons.

I prefer the zucchini cooked this way.  Delicious.

Just another way to get rid of all those zucchinis which are growing like blazes in the summer sun.  

First find some fat zucchinis, the fatter the better.  They must be hollowed out to hold the meat and the sauce.

Cut each vegetable in half long ways.  Don't hollow them out just yet.  Removing the flesh is much easier when they have been boiled and are nice and soft.

  Put on a pot of boiling water and when it is bubbling away carefully place each half of zucchini in the water .  Boil 5-10 minutes.  They will be nice and soft but not falling to pieces.  

Leave to cool a little.  Then you can easily scoop out the insides and make a deep trough to fill with meat.
Use the zucchini flesh in the meat sauce or throw in the compost if there are too many seeds.

While you're doing all this a pot of bolognese sauce should be boiling away in another saucepan.  I cooked my sauce the night before so all I had to do was put the ingredients together. 

I cooked 1/4 kilo of mince meat
some fresh grated tomatoes (or a tin or packet of tomatoes)
one chopped onion
a good slurp of wine
grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
zucchini flesh diced 

Cook the mince about half an hour and leave to cool, or cook the night before.

Pour a little olive oil into each zucchini shell.  Not absolutely necessary but this is greece and we love our olive oil.

Fill with the bolognese sauce mixture.  Now here's the rub....  my zucchinis weren't very big so I overfilled them with the stuffing.  You should leave a little room on top for the bechamel (white/cheese) sauce.  I didn't as you'll see.

Sprinkle some grated cheese over the mince.  Optional.  I think it gives it a little more flavour

Make a small pot of thick white/cheese sauce.  I used about 
a table spoon of butter
and a tablespoon of oil
2 soup spoons of flour
a good teaspoon of mustard
a little nutmeg

Nutmeg is the spice of choice for any zucchini/aubergine-moussaka type of dish.

Carefully place a thin layer of sauce over each 'little shoe'. Top with more grated cheese.  My sauce sort of rolled off and it became one big dish of vegetables and sauce, and darn nice it was too.

Bake about half an hour in a medium oven till golden brown on top.
This is how my shoes ended up .  A sort of floppy old slipper.

This is how a chef would present them.  The one nearest the camera is the stuffed zucchini and the other a stuffed aubergine.

If you are using aubergines do not boil them but cut them in half, bake about twenty minutes in a hot oven and they should be soft enough to remove the flesh easily.

As always

Kali Orexi (bon appetite)

Don't forget the chilled white or red wine, bread to soak up the juices and lots of feta cheese.

Red wine is better chilled in the summertime.  You certainly won't like 'room temperature' in our heat.  I fill my wine glass with ice whether drinking red, white or rosรฉ and enjoy the food, wine and scenery, some interesting conversation, or the latest gossip from down on the waterfront.


  1. What a great way to use up th glut. I too always plant too many zucchini plants
    And I love pasticchio so this is a great alternative to that without the carbs!
    Will definitely be cooking this thanks xxx

    1. It is really good but I'm sure full of calories. Cheese sauce and bolgnaise sauce yum.
      Stuffed zucchinis in an avgolemono is darn good too. Haven't made those this year at all

  2. Oh no, you're not an 'ice in the wine' girl are you?? In my mind thats the same as spoiling a good walk by hitting a little while ball at the same time ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š
    Years ago my dad would let his (what they called vegatable marrows - none of these 'foreign' names) intentionally grow large. Can't say my mum ever found the right ingedients to make a stuffed marrow taste pleasant. Might be why I never do it when the zucchini is smaller - which incidentally I love to eat raw. ~ Cathy

    1. Yes yes yes for ice in the summer in whatever I drink!! An ice cold beer is heaven....any other drink must be full of ice!! But only in the heat of summer.
      Raw zucchini/courgette/narrow? Actually I have had it some sort of exotic salad, grated so hardly noticeable. Or do you eat it like a cucumber?

    2. Sliced raw like cucumber in a green salad. I often mix it with cuc green tops of spring onions and slices of kiwi fruit - on a bed of iceberg. Bland yes but cooling in summer ๐Ÿ˜Š
      I always think the ice 'dilutes' the wine, mind you I sometimes add soda water to dry wine!

    3. Ice does dilute but sometimes that is better! Here they say water should always be added to a glass of wine in months with no 'r'. Strong wine and strong sun do not mix well.

  3. Nutmeg! I am always inspired by your cooking posts. I will definitely try adding nutmeg to my next round of stuffed zucchini! -Jenn

    1. I used to think nutmeg and cinnamon were only for sweets. I'm still not crazy about cinnamon with meat but love the nutmeg taste in savoury dishes

    2. I use nutmeg in with my butternut pumpkin soup ~ Cathy

  4. We make much the same things here, stuffed vegs are very popular; especially in the south. Delicious. Just as my aubergine crop is starting to slow, the courgettes are going crazy!

    1. You'll be eating till they come out of your ears!!

  5. I am going to make it today,i also make stuffed tomttoes,onions and pepper.

    1. We eat a lot of stuffed tomatoes too! Really good in the summer

  6. These sound so good That I have shared to my daughter on Facebook as she has a glut of courgettes!

    1. They are really really tasty. Stuffed courgettes with an egg and lemon sauce are great too. I'll have to make them and do a post with photos

  7. You make me feel hungry and very thirsty LA. Time for a cold beer from the fridge. I have got to visit Greece some time.

    1. Right on for the cold beer! Every summer I say I'm laying off the beer but a cold beer on a hot day is ambrosia