The abundance of zucchini this time of year makes me one happy mama. I love, love, love zucchini. I’m sure it stems back from my fond memories of eating it as a kid. No sarcasm here. I grew up on the vitamin packed vegetable. My mom used to steam the living crap out of it, smoother it in butter and sprinkle it with just a touch of salt. Mmmmm, it would literally almost melt in your mouth.
While I don’t steam zucchini these days, I roast it, saute it, bake it in bread and my absolute favorite: stuff it.
This vegetarian version uses the height of summer produce and couldn’t be easier to throw together.
I hollow out the zucchini with the back of a spoon, reserving the pulp, leaving a nice sturdy base for the vegetable mixture to sit in.
Zucchini is a little bland on it’s own so before filling it sprinkle just a dash of salt and pepper in the hollowed out cavity.
This recipe is easily adapted to whatever vegetables you have on hand but I used an assortment of peppers, leeks, the insides of the zucchini, garlic and fresh tomatoes.
I think this makes a lovely light supper although my husband would argue that it actually makes a better side dish to a plate of baked meatballs……..either way you
slice bake it, these are scrumptious.
Zucchini naturally has a lot of water in it. Baking it can create a soggy mess if you’re not careful.
So, please, be careful.
Soggy overcooked vegetables are gross.
One way to avoid this is to bake them quickly and at a higher oven temperature. The tops brown, the zucchini retains a little bite, and the vegetable mixture is cooked to perfection.
An easy and healthy way to use up some of that zucchini!
Summer Vegetable Stuffed Zucchini
- 4 zucchini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced bell peppers, any color
- 1/2 cup diced leeks or green onions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 roma tomatoes, about 3/4 cup
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil; set aside. Slice the zucchini in half length wise. Using the back of a spoon, hollow out the inside flesh of the zucchini leaving just a little bit to create a nice base. Roughly chop the reserved zucchini that you scooped out. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the reserved zucchini insides, bell peppers, onion and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes and heat for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool 10 minutes. Add bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and eggs to bowl of vegetables and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 zucchini boats. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes and serve. I like to eat mine over some steamed rice, couscous or orzo pasta to make a complete meal. They are also an excellent side dish!