Something magical happens when a vegetable gets stuffed. What once used to be the same old, plain old veggie, suddenly becomes a juicy treat, bursting with fresh and vibrant colours. If you want to impress your guests, this is a fail-safe way to go. Jut pick your favourite fresh vegetable, hollow it out, and stuff it with almost whatever. It’s easier than you think. Vegetables are versatile vixens, ready for the adventure and delightful variations. Zucchini, winter squash, bell peppers, eggplants, mushrooms, tomatoes and more are fair game for stuffed ingredients such as shredded zucchini, parmesan cheese, fresh and dry herbs, rice, onion and garlic. But keep in mind that the softer the vegetable, the more loosely packed with stuffing it should be.

Stuffing vegetables is the surest way to turn them into cool-weather comfort foods that everyone will love. I do it because I find it very quick and easy, especially if you use a vegetable with a wide cavity, such as tomato or bell pepper. I also do it because it’s family-friendly. You can make the stuffing way in advance, bake the dish ahead of time, eat it warm or at room temperature, and the look is tempting and relaxed. And I do it because of how these dishes taste: mixing grains, cheese, veggies and herbes, leads to a deep exchange of flavour and combination of textures. This is just the sort of cooking that comforts me and reminds me of home. I almost have a duty to go out there, stuff those vegetables and make some dreams come true.