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Zucchini Boats

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July 11, 2011 by Sara Kreidler

This is another easy throw together dish; zucchini is the base, but from there you can use whatever fresh herbs, veggies and other goodies you have on hand to make the stuffing.  We’ve made these before with the addition of diced fresh tomatoes in the stuffing mix, for example (we didn’t have any tomatoes handy tonight, though).  I’ve read, but not yet made, recipes that use rice instead of breadcrumbs, and others that include finely chopped nuts in the mix.

The stuffing at the end of step 4 of the recipe.

The zucchini boats, pre-stuffing, at step 5.

Stuffed and ready to go into the oven at the end of step 5.

Out of the oven and ready to eat.

We really enjoyed this version, although we’re thinking that next time we might kick these up a notch and add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the stuffing.

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut stem end off of the zucchini and slice in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh on the inside of the zucchini, making a well in the zucchini “boat.”  Discard half of the scooped-out zucchini flesh, and transfer the remaining flesh to a cutting board and roughly chop.  Transfer chopped zucchini flesh to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mince the onion, shallot and garlic and transfer to a clean bowl.  Layer the basil leaves one on top of the other, roll into a cigar and slice thinly with a sharp knife.  Remove fresh thyme leaves from the stem by pulling the stem between your thumb and forefinger.  Add basil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper to the bowl with the chopped zucchini flesh and mix well to combine.
  4. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Cook the onion, shallots and garlic until onions are translucent.  Add the zucchini and herb mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add breadcrumbs and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Place the hollowed out zucchini boats in a baking dish and season inside of boats with salt and pepper.  Spoon the vegetable and breadcrumb stuffing into the zucchini boats.  Spoon Parmesan evenly on top of the boats, pressing down lightly to make sure the stuffing and cheese will stay in place.
  6. Bake zucchini boats for 40 minutes or until zucchini are fork tender and cheese has melted and the stuffing is lightly browned and crispy on top.  Serve hot.
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