Crush the Zucchini Glut!

It’s that time of year again when zucchini abounds and we begin to pull out all our recipes that have lay dormant for a year. Yesterday my friend Eileen dug into her thick file of recipes cut out of magazines and printed off favorite food sites. It was fun to see the vast array of ways to cook zucchini, from breads, salads, soups to enchiladas, pastas…risotto. If you are a vegetable lover, this one never disappoints, it’s so versatile. I wonder how many recipes are out there in the internet?!? Well here’s one more and a few ideas to boot.

The Italian word for zucchini is actually “zucchine” or small squash, the plural form of little “zucca.” One popular way to serve them is breaded and fried lightly…as I did a few nights ago.

A few “zucchine” ready for the frying pan!

But one of my other favorite ways to cook zucchini is to stuff them. Sounds like a lot of work on a hot day? Not really…remember cooking in the kitchen can also be a zen experience in which you forget about the heat outside. It was 103 degrees, 42 degrees centigrade registered on my thermometer hanging in my patio. Hula! It’s hot…let’s make stuffed zucchini!

Zucchine Ripiene (Stuffed Zucchini)

3-4 moderately large zucchini, halved

2 potatoes (I use yukon gold potatoes so I don’t have to peel them) – sliced thinly.

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese

1/2 – 3/4 cup grated monterey jack (or mozzarella) cheese

1 slice of rustic (such as ciabatta or sourdough) bread

1/4 cup of milk

1 egg

2-3 Tbl. olive oil

2-3 Tbl. tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

basil or other herb like thyme (optional)

Blanch the halved zucchini in boiling salted water for about 3-5 minutes (depending on size). Remove the the zucchini and place face down on a paper towel to cool.

While the zucchini halves are cooling, crumble the bread in a small bowl with the milk. Massage it gently to remove any big lumps, If it looks like you have too much milk, remove some so the mixture is not too soupy.

Scoop out the central portion of the zucchini forming a little boat. Continue to place the scooped out zucchini face down to drain. In the meantime, finely chop the scooped out zucchini, the chopped onion and add to the bread and milk mixture. In Liguria, finely chopped mortadella is also added – I want to try that version!

Add the egg, 2-3 tablespoons of parmigiano, and 1/2 cup of monterey jack.

Here you can see I placed a few strips of roasted pepper inside the boats.

Prepare a pyrex dish by coating it with a  little of the olive oil. Optional (and this is a version “alla ligure” from the region of Liguria: Take the thinly sliced potatoes and place them around the dish, overlapping slightly, as if you were making scalloped potatoes.

Salt and pepper them slightly. Place the zucchini face up on the potatoes and fill each boat with the mixture.I like to dribble some tomato sauce down the middle and then top with monterey jack and a sprinkling of parmigiano. Optional:  some slivered fresh basil or thyme on top.

Salt, pepper, and a little drizzle of olive oil, cover with aluminum foil. I baked mine in a Breville oven at 375 degrees – that’s why I didn’t fear a hot kitchen on a hot day!  If using a conventional oven, 350 degrees is sufficient. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and lower the temperature to 350 for another 15 minutes. These stuffed zucchini boats are delicious served at room temperature. But… I also like them cold for lunch the next day! Sono molto gustose!

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Crush the Zucchini Glut!

  1. I love it, Vickie! I have some zucchini taking up counter space at my house! 😉 I just made zucchini muffins with the girls yesterday!

    Like

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