This is probably my favorite time of year when it comes to fresh food. Gardens are in full swing and every weekend weeds must be evicted from them. Despite the weeds, the bounty that a garden yields can last the rest of the year if planned in advance.
The other day a friend of mine gave me a big bag of zucchini and summer squash from her garden. And while watching my weekly recordings of cooking shows, I was inspired by Jamie Deen’s zucchini boats. He stuffed his with Vidalia onions, sausage and tomatoes and cheese. Mine are a vegetarian version, but all in all, they are so good that it didn’t take long to wolf mine down!
Begin by roasting your zucchini in the oven. Wash and cut them lengthwise – I snipped of the stem ends as well. Spray your baking sheet with non-stick spray then drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Lay the zucchini flat down, sprinkle a little grey sea salt over them and roast just until tender.
Set the zucchini aside for a few minutes until cool to the touch. Using a small spoon, gently scrape/scoop out the center until they resemble long boats and set aside. See the photo above.
While these are cooling, get your stuffing ingredients together.
Finely dice a Vidalia onion and sauté in extra virgin olive oil. One the onions have sweat and turn clear, add the finely diced sweet bell pepper.
Then add your veggie burger or other choice of meat. Add a pinch of onion powder, a couple shakes (dashes) of Worcestershire sauce. Cook until meat is done.
Add a pinch of grated parmesan and cheddar cheeses and a handful of Panko bread crumbs. Stir together and begin stuffing the zucchini boats.
Return them to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
I served these alongside roasted potato halves and yellow squash that I topped with diced up fresh tomatoes and a little parmesan. The actual recipe is below. Keep in mind that the measurements are approximate as I do not measure when I cook.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
2 Large Zucchini, washed well, ends trimmed and cut lengthwise
1 small Vidalia onion, finely diced
1 small Sweet Bell pepper, finely diced
Choice of ground burger, turkey or veggie burger
(I used about 1/4 cup of veggie burger crumbles)
Grey Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Freshly grated Cheddar Cheese
A couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
Pinch of onion powder
1-2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash zucchini well, trim off stem ends and cut lengthwise. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray and drizzle with olive oil. Lay zucchini face-down and sprinkle lightly with a pinch of grey sea salt. Roast until just tender. Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch. While still warm, using a small spoon, scoop out the centers making boats. Set aside.
Sauté the onion and green bell pepper in extra virgin olive oil, add meat of choice and cook thoroughly. Add a handful of Panko bread crumbs, big pinch of grated cheddar and grated parmesan cheeses. Stir well and let cheese melt a little. Spoon into zucchini boats and top with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and cheddar cheeses. Put back in the oven and bake until the cheese melts.
For serving size, you can have one big zucchini half or two small halves per person.
Serve up and enjoy!