But not more complicated! These took only 20 minutes to assemble (oh wait, am I still assembling?!) and another 20 in the oven. The eight-ball 'round' zucchini are very tasty and perfect for stuffing -- no real recipe required but I'll share what I did because it was very good.
The basics would work for any stuffing. Scoop out the zucchini, steam them upside down for six or seven minutes, then stuff and toss into the oven to finish cooking and warm the contents. Yum ... a great vegetarian supper.
HOMEMADE BOURSIN I intended to use Boursin, the creamy-garlicky stuff from the grocery, as a binder. But -- what ARE they thinking? -- the stuff is selling at my local supermarket for $7.69 for 4.4 ounces which is a ridiculous $28 a pound. Forget that!!! I bought some Neufchatel, the low-fat cream cheese and made an extra-garlicky version of my Basil Cream Cheese Dip. It was perfect -- and maybe fifty cents. You could also use goat cheese or plain cream cheese, even feta, anything to bind the stuffing ingredients.
GROW YOUR OWN This is my contribution to the fun event happening at Andrea's Recipes. She's challenged us to cook something we've grown ourselves -- here it's the garlic and the basil, not much but two things I didn't grow last year!
FROM THE ARCHIVES Other 'stuffed' vegetables that I've loved are this feta-stuffed zucchini and a similar version for stuffed patty pan squash and as soon as winter squash begin to appear, acorn squash with quinoa & cherries.
A YEAR AGO Slow-Roasted Tomato Soup, a reminder to (you know what's coming, right?) slow-roast tomatoes!
TWO YEARS AGO New Potatoes with Mint & Parsley
Eight Ball Stuffed Zucchini
Time to table: 40 minutes
Eight ball zucchini, one per person
Per Zucchini, about this much, for stuffing:
1 - 2 tablespoons Boursin, goat cheese or cream cheese (or my homemade Boursin)
scant 1/2 cup cooked rice (I used a combination of brown and wild rice)
1 - 2 green onions, chopped
2 - 4 Kalamata olives, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped
Fresh red pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts (these were perfect)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Start water to boil for steaming the zucchini (I used a Dutch oven with a metal steamer rack). Wash the zucchinis well, paying special attention to the 'socket' and the stem areas. Slice off the top third or so of the stem end. With a paring knife, cut around the perimeter of the zucchini, leaving a 'wall' about 1/4 inch thick. Cut hatch marks into the flesh, without piercing the skin or the 'wall'. With a serrated grapefruit spoon, scoop out the flesh and set aside for another use. Scoop out the 'lid' too. Steam cutside down for 6 - 7 minutes.
Combine the stuffing ingredients. When the zucchini is steamed, pack tightly with filling ingredients. Place in oven dish, place the 'lid' on top and bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
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