Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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As an aspiring chef and self-proclaimed produce enthusiast, my palette is open to all fresh foods. With that said, there are some I prefer over others, and zucchini is usually in the latter group. But this is peak zucchini season, and if there is any time for me to try a new recipe that might change my mind, the time is now. After finding one that is almost the size of my forearm, I knew I had to preserve its beauty and try stuffing it. This recipe can be done with any size of zucchini and can be kept whole when serving or chopped into lasagna-like slices. Combined with other perfectly seasonal flavors like fresh cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and herbs, this is a dish that I, formerly not a zucchini fan, will be making again for myself very soon. This is a tasty and filling dish for vegetarians or those who are gluten-free and surprisingly tastes almost better cold, eaten with your hands in front of the fridge the next day. Try this method out with other ingredients and flavor combinations too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini (sliced in half)
  • 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 green pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • Handful of basil (chopped)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash your zucchini and carefully slice in half length wise to create to even halves. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini leaving about a 1/4 inch thick of flesh. Save this in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and set aside.
  3. Rub a small amount of olive oil on your zucchini boats and set them aside in a lined baking dish.
  4. Prepare your other veggies and set them aside in a large bowl.
  5. Using a linen kitchen cloth, gently squeeze any excess liquid from your scooped zucchini flesh. Add it the large bowl with other vegetables. Season all with salt &, pepper to your liking, half of your grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and herbs and mix to combine.
  6. Scoop the chopped vegetable filling in to your zucchini boats and top with remaining grated parmesan cheese (+ more if needed) and a few more dashes of pepper on top.
  7. Cover your baking dish with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the zucchini boats are fork tender. Uncover and turn the heat up to 450 (add more parmesan if desired) and cook until cheese has begun to turn golden brown, about 5-7 more minutes. Enjoy! This dish tastes great hot or cold.
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