Baked stuffed vegetables

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pepper tom.jpgIngredients
Serves: 4
100g long-grain rice, 250g lean minced lamb, 1 onion, chopped, 4 peppers, 4 beefsteak tomatoes, ripe but firm, 1 large courgette, about 225g, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped, 170g baby spinach leaves, 2 tbsp shredded fresh basil, 1 egg, lightly beaten, salt and pepper, 2-3 tbsp shredded fresh basil for garnish.

1. Cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 10?12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain.
2. While the rice is cooking, put the lamb and onion in a nonstick frying pan and fry until the lamb is lightly browned and
cooked through and the onion has softened. Turn and break up the meat as it cooks so it browns evenly. Place a sieve
over a bowl and tip the meat into it. The fat will drip through and can be discarded.
3. Cut each pepper in half lengthways through the stalk and remove the core and seed. Cut the tops (stalk end) off the
tomatoes and hollow out the insides.  Chop the tops and hollowed-out flesh and place in a bowl with any tomato juices. Cut the courgettes in half lengthways and hollow out the centres to leave shells 5mm thick. Chop the hollowed-out courgette flesh and add it to the chopped tomatoes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180?C (350?F, gas mark 4). Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the garlic and chopped
vegetables, and cook, stirring, until they soften slightly. Add the spinach and cook over a moderate heat for a minute or so until wilted. Remove from the heat and add the basil, rice and lamb. Add the egg, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
5. Spoon the stuffing into the pepper, tomato and courgette shells. Arrange the peppers and courgettes in a single layer in 1 or 2 roasting tins. The vegetables should not be too crowded together. Cover with foil or a lid and roast for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are almost tender.
6. Uncover the vegetables and roast for a further 15-20 minutes or until they are tender and the tops are lightly browned.
Serve either warm or cool, sprinkled with the shredded fresh basil and accompanied with crusty bread and alioli.