I’ve featured a couple of stuffed ‘vegetable’ recipes on this blog –mushrooms and peppers, though neither are technically vegetables. Today I’m featuring yet another fake vegetable, the zucchini, which is an immature fruit. I’ve written about zucchinis in another post so will not repeat myself. However, in re-reading that entry I realized that I never posted my zucchini bread recipe. I’m going to make it tomorrow for a friend who is visiting from San Francisco and will have it up on Treat a Week in the next few weeks. Vive lo zucchini!
Serves 6 as an appetizer, 3-4 as a main dish
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, regular or partly skimmed
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 medium zucchinis
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
Spicy Eggplant Ragout
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cups (1/2 bottle) high quality garlic or spicy prepared pasta sauce
4 sundried tomatoes (preserved in oil), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco (or to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. To make the stuffed zucchini, in a large skillet over medium heat sauté garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the next ten ingredients. Add the sautéed onions once they’ve cooled.
4. Wash zucchinis and chop off the ends. Slice in half lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, melon baller or paring knife, remove the inner flesh containing the seeds.
5. Fill the zucchini halves with the ricotta mixture. Place the zucchini in an oiled Pyrex baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the ricotta mixture is set and the mozzarella has melted.
7. While the zucchinis are baking, make the eggplant ragout.
8. In the same large skillet on medium heat, sauté garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
9. Add eggplant and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pasta sauce and cook for 4 more minutes. Reduce heat and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn off heat and keep the skillet covered.
10. By now the zucchinis should be baked. Broil them on low heat for 3-4 minutes or until the mozzarella begins to turn brown. Remember to leave the oven door open during broiling.