Now for a savory take on zucchini. My mother-in-law brought me an enormous zucchini from her garden in Temecula (think baseball bat) and it sat on the counter for about a week. In that time, two different friends were over and told me that I should stuff it. And, then, Elise had this recipe on her blog. Perfect. I haven't made stuffed zucchini before and this version doesn't use the scraped out zucchini pulp in the actual stuffing but it's a hearty vegetarian dish and we used cherry tomatoes from Big's garden. I really loved how it turned out and now that Big has some huge zucchini ready to go, I'll probably be making it again soon.
don't know why my pictures turned out so bad this time around . . .
Pesto Stuffed Zucchini (serves 4)
from Simply Recipes
2 cups of day old bread, cubed
1 T. butter
2 T. pine nuts, toasted
1 very large zucchini (at least 2 lbs)
1/4 cup pesto (I used store bought)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
A handful of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
The bread should be a little dry so it will toast better. If you don't have day old bread (which I didn't), cut up fresh bread and spread on a baking sheet. Heat in a 200 degree oven for 10 minutes to dry it out.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet, melt butter on medium. Add the slightly dry cubed bread, toss to coat at least some of the sides in a little butter. Lay out in a single layer and cook without moving the croutons until one side is lightly browned and then toss and let a few more sides get a little brown. I burned mine a bit so watch out :) Remove from pan and let it cool to the touch.
When the croutons are cool, toss together with mozzarella, and then the pesto. Add the parmesan cheese, chopped cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and toast some more.
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inner flesh with a metal spoon leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness in the zucchini boats. Place zucchini boats in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the inside of the zucchini lightly with salt. Fill them with the stuffing mixture. Pour a cup or so of water into the bottom of the roasting pan (so that the zucchini doesn't dry out on the outside), to about 1/4 inch depth. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the stuffing is toasted and the flesh of the zucchini feels soft when poked with a fork.