Zucchini is one of those vegetables that seems destined for filling with ingredients. Growing up, my mom frequently stuffed zucchini with spinach, which made a delicious dish that could be served as an entrée or side. This spring I created a tomato-stuffed zucchini topped with mozzarella. As both of those are vegetarian dishes, it seemed to be time to create something for the carniverous crowd.
I made this dish as part of last night’s Tapas Monday menu. Served with crostini topped with tomatoes from our garden and fresh mozzarella, it made for a wonderful dinner of nibbling. The only negative to the zucchini dish was that the zucchini at our local farm were on the narrow side, which means that there is less space to holding the filling. In fact, this recipe made more filling than required. However, if you have a spouse such as mine, I’m sure that he or she will be glad to eat the remaining filling straight out of the pan while waiting for the zucchini to finish baking.
- 2 medium-sized zucchini
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 2 garlic & herb chicken sausages, diced*
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt & pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove ends from zucchini, and cut in half lengthwise. Place zucchini in boiling water, and top with a plate to keep them submerged.
- Boil for 4 or 5 minutes, or until slightly tender. Place zucchini in an ice bath for 2 or 3 minutes to prevent further cooking.
- Place on paper towels to drain. Carefully remove seeds and filling, leaving a quarter to half inch shell. Dice zucchini filling.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Coat pan with olive oil, and add onions.
- Sauté for 5 minutes, then add sausage. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and diced zucchini, cook for 1 minutes, and remove from heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350. Place unfilled zucchini halves on a baking sheet, and cook for 5-10 minutes to eliminate extra moisture.
- Remove pan from oven, and fill zucchini with sausage mixture.
- Top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.
- *Other types of sausage, such as Italian, can be used to replace the chicken sausage. However, some sausages are uncooked and will need longer cooking times. Please read sausage packaging carefully.