For many of us, zucchini grows in our summertime gardens quite easily. So easily, in fact, that if you forget to pick a small one when you see it before you go on a weekend vacation, you will often come home to a courgette approximately five times the size of which you initially desired to eat it! In our partially vegetarian household, more food is generally not an issue… but with zucchini and other summer squash, the larger the fruit gets, the more watery and flavorless it can be (not to mention the pithy fibrous mass that the center of it becomes over time.) If you run into this issue like I did last week, here’s how to get the most bang for your buck.
I came up with this “recipe” while pickling and canning vegetables last week. I used whatever vegetables wouldn’t fit in the jars to add as stuffing, but it is such an easily adaptable concept, you can use whatever you have on hand or even get more creative and make it featuring a myriad of International flavor profiles!
Summertime Stuffed Zucchini
1 Overgrown Large Zucchini, 12″+
1 Small Stale French Baguette, Single Serving Size
1 Shallot, Carrot, and Mild Pepper, Diced
1 Large Egg
Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Parmesan, and Herbs (To Taste)
Cut zucchini into 2″ rounds, making sure they are as level and flat as possible (to sit on baking tray.) Using a spoon, scoop out center cavity of each piece so that it forms a bowl, being careful not to entirely scoop out the bottom end.
Cut or break baguette into several pieces. In a food processor, pulse baguette until crumbly. (I use frozen mini baguettes that I keep on hand as bread crumbs because I like the fresh texture better. You are welcome to use pre-made bread crumbs and will maybe need 1/2-3/4c…. I just don’t see the point in buying them when it’s a lot easier to freeze stale bread and use it for this purpose later!)
Transfer bread mixture into a mixing bowl and add the chopped veggies, as well as salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. I am a big fan of using Lovage for the celery-like flavor without adding any moisture, but feel free to substitute half a stalk of celery instead (or the leaves that are usually cut off!) to achieve similar results. Add egg, 1tbs. olive oil, 1tbs. parmesan cheese, and mix to combine.
Drizzle or brush zucchini bowls with olive oil. Evenly portion one or two heaping spoonfuls of stuffing into each cavity, pressing lightly to ensure it is full. Sprinkle with a little more parmesan, then bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, depending on desired doneness. I served mine up with ketchup, and had the leftovers for lunch the next day with a quick salad.
I could also see doing these with smaller squash cut lengthwise and stuffed, or smaller squash cut width-wise, stuffed, and dotted with ketchup as bite-sized party appetizers. Have fun!