Yay! It’s Zucchini Harvesting time! Even if you don’t have a garden, they are in all of the markets, from local farmers & are fantastic!
So, what to do with them? Well, here’s what’s on the table tonight: Stuffed Zucchini “Boats”. Plus something extra; a small Eggplant stuffed as well.
This is NOT difficult. I admit it’s a 2 step process, but certainly worth the effort. So, here goes:
Ingredients for 2 servings:
- ¼ cup extra Virgin Olive Oil for veggies, plus a second ¼ cup for sauce.
- 1 Large Zucchini, as fat as you can find.
- ½ cup Red Bell Pepper, minced. Or any color you wish
- ¼ cup Onion, minced
- 2 Garlic cloves, Minced
- ½ of a small Eggplant, peeled of skin, & minced as well. Use the other half , not peeled, for stuffing as shown
- ½ cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs, preferably Italian flavored
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Several Basil Leaves. Fresh is best, but if dried is used, then use ½ tbl.
- 1 can Crushed Tomatoes, 14.4 oz.
- More minced garlic if desired for the sauce. Your choice.
First, wash the Zucchini, but do not peel. Slice in half, long-side.
Using a sharp paring knife, make a slit down the sides of the Zucchini, around the seeds and scoop out. Save about ½ cup of the filling. Discard the rest. When scooping, be sure not to go too far down into the flesh, since we need a frame for support. Leave about ¼ inch all around.
At the same time, take that 2nd half of an Eggplant and scoop out some of the center just as you did with the Zucchini. Allow some to remain along the sides too.
In a large skillet, place the empty Z. boats and half Eggplant in water and Par-boil. Just until slightly tender. Be sure to watch them. If the get too soft, you can’t handle them later for stuffing.
While this is simmering, chop up and get the other ingredients ready.
In a second skillet, place the first ½ cup oil and saute the peppers, the saved Zucchini filling, garlic, onion and that ½ Eggplant on low heat. Do not use the tomatoes and basil. That’s for the last step.
When the veggies are soft, add the bread crumbs and combine well. Keep heat on low and get the bread crumbs sautéing until all are mixed in. Remove and allow to cool until able to handle.
If the Zucchini & Eggplant are soft at this point, gently lift them out of the water with a large spatula and place on a paper towel to drain a bit.
When these are cool enough to touch, then scoop the filling in them.
Now, take that first large skillet, wipe dry and place the ½ cup oil in and when warmed, put the canned tomatoes in. Salt & Pepper to taste and add the Basil.
If you like garlic, you could add some minced to the oil just before the tomatoes went in. When the garlic is fragrant but not brown, then add the Tomatoes.
Place the filled Zucchini & Eggplant gently into the tomatoes, and keep in low heat. Add the Basil chopped, Cover and remember to check occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom. Simmer for about 20 minutes on low, looking often to see how they are doing.
When done, serve with some grated cheese if you love that. And of course, a crusty Gluten Free Roll for dunking in the sauce. Mangia!