Stuffed zucchini is one of the first recipes I made myself. Every year, my family would grow zucchini in the garden and every year, we'd have more than we knew what to do with. (This seems to be the case for most gardeners, although the past two summers, I have had absolutely no luck growing zucchini myself. What am I doing wrong?!) My mom had a cookbook with zucchini recipes and one summer, I found a stuffed zucchini recipe while thumbing through it and insisted that we make it with some of our bumper crop of zucchini. We boiled the zucchini in a pot of water, scooped out the insides, and then stuffed the little zucchini boats with ground beef, cheddar cheese, and pieces of toasted bread. The whole family loved it and it became a summertime staple whenever we grew zucchini.
This summer, I wanted to find a vegetarian stuffed zucchini recipe to take advantage of the cheap (and plentiful!) zucchini at the local farmers market, since I have such trouble growing my own. My husband is pretty meh about the whole stuffed zucchini concept, so I wanted to find something different than the typical mozzarella and tomato sauce that seems to be so common in the meatless stuffed zucchini recipes I've found up to now. I adapted this recipe from the June issue of Cooking Light--I reduced the amount of oil, used panko instead of breadcrumbs, added sun-dried tomatoes, and added some panko and cheese to the tops of the zucchini boats instead of mixing it all into the filling, as the original recipe called for. With the flavorful filling and crispy topping, there is definitely nothing meh about this vegetarian stuffed zucchini--I think we finally found a recipe to stick with!
- 4 medium zucchini
- ½ tsp. salt divided
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper divided
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 c. finely chopped onion
- ⅓ c. marinated jarred artichoke hearts, chopped
- ¼ c. sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp. dry white wine
- ½ c. panko
- 6 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese divided
- ¼ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tbsp. pine nuts toasted
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
- cooking spray or olive oil mister
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving a ¼-inch-thick shell. Chop pulp and set aside. Place zucchini halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
- Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini pulp and onion. Saute for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add remaining salt and pepper, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and garlic; cook 45 seconds. Add wine and cook until liquid almost evaporates, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, combine vegetable mixture, ¼ c. of panko, ¼ c. of Parmesan, parsley, pine nuts, basil, and lemon rind. Stir until combined. Divide mixture evenly into zucchini shells. Top with remaining panko and cheese. Spray tops of zucchini with cooking spray.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn on broiler and heat for an additional 5 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.