So maybe it's just me but isn't there a dirty little secret about zucchini boats? The stuffings are nearly always delicious (cheese, anyone?) but the boats themselves, the zucchini (or in this case that zucchini summer-squash cousin called the "yellow squash" or the "crookneck squash") is either undercooked and tasteless or overcooked and watery, in either case unappetizing. So here – with just one quick and easy step – the zucchini boats become more than mere vessels, they actually taste good!
The trick? So easy, you'll be whacking yourself on the forehead, "I shoulda thoughta that."
HERE'S ALL IT TAKES Before stuffing, just cook the zucchini in the microwave for a few minutes. The added benefit? It's easier to scoop out the zucchini innards too.
VEGETABLES for BREAKFAST? During summer garden months, this is actually a favorite weekend breakfast. Usually there's a slice of crisp bacon and an egg on the side but the real stars are the zucchini boats. (You do know about Baked Bacon, don't you? It's so easy! It might even be worth buying a cast iron griddle, just for cooking bacon. Note to Vegetarians)
No-Cook Tabbouleh Eggplant Sandwiches with Cilantro Hummus Summer Orzo with Radicchio Chipotle Chickpea Salad BLTs with Avocado King Hill Farms Simple & Sublime Beets Amaranth Greens More Matters: The New Fruits & Veggies Campaign Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Honey Syrup Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic Seared Radicchio Weight Watchers Italian Zero Points Soup Tomato & Onion Salad Stuffed Peppers Sautéed Cucumbers
KITCHEN PARADE, LAST WEEK Homemade Peach Syrup with Fresh Peaches
RECIPE for STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 2 (easily multiplied)
1 small or medium yellow squash or zucchini
STUFFING (for example)
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh herbs - sage, oregano
Good melting cheese, sliced
ZUCCHINI BOATS Wash the squash well, trim the stem end a bit. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Separate the two pieces and cook side-by-side in the microwave on high for 4 minutes. (Microwaves do vary in power, check yours after two or three minutes, until you're sure of the timing.) While still warm, scoop out the centers with a spoon -- the serrated edge of a grapefruit spoon works especially well.
STUFFING Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the olive oil til shimmery, cook the onion, eggplant, mushrooms and other vegetables. The vegetables should be fully cooked, from here on, they'll just stay hot. Cook the cherry tomatoes in the same skillet, but on the side, so they don't get mixed in and just until they pop. Add the fresh herbs late - so they warm up a bit but don't get cooked in.
TO FINISH Heat the broiler. Fill the zucchini boats with the cooked vegetables. Place cheese slices on top, then a few of the cherry tomatoes. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts into the vegetables and the tomatoes begin to blister. Serve and savor!
~ SUMMER SQUASH ~
~ Feta-Stuffed Zucchini ~
~ Eight-Ball Stuffed Zucchini ~
~ Toad in a Pattypan Hole ~
~ PEPPERS ~
~ Fresh Tomato & Basil Stuffed Peppers ~
~ Stuffed Peppers (My Aunt's Retro Recipe) ~
~ more stuffed vegetable recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ TOMATOES ~
~ BLT Pasta Salad ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
(who loves-loves-loves to stuff vegetables into other vegetables)
and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011