Thursday, August 5, 2010

Return of the Stuffed Zucchini

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It’s baaaaaack! Zucchini that is. You didn’t think I could go too long without another zucchini recipe now did you? This time it’s stuffed for all you carnivores out there. I’ve already given you my recipes for zucchini filled with rice, parmesan cheese and vegetables and zucchini stuffed with ricotta cheese, so it’s about time to satisfy the meat eaters. This is basically a ground meat mixture inside a zucchini but the round shape elevates this a bit above pedestrian meat loaf. It sure tastes like more than meat loaf.

If you can’t find these globe zucchini, use the long variety instead. A few days before leaving for vacation last month (and before the beastly heat wave that ravaged my garden), I harvested as many as I could from the garden. I stuffed them and they’re tucked away in the freezer for one of those days when cooking is the last thing on my mind.

Here’s how to prepare the zucchini. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the whole zucchini for about five minutes. They’ll still be kind of hard, but they’ll cook another 45 minutes in the oven later on. You just want to soften them enough to get things going and to easily scoop out the interior.

Use a knife to cut a circle into the zucchini, then score the circle into many pieces. Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the interior and set aside. You won’t be using the interior in this recipe, but don’t throw it away - it’s good for an omelet, sautéed separately as a vegetable, or in soups.

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Blend the meat mixture together and stuff into the zucchini.

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Pour a generous serving of your favorite tomato sauce over the top.

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Put the lids on the zucchini, then cover the casserole and bake.

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After 45 minutes, this is what you’ll be able to sink into:

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Slice it open and swish it around all that sauce:

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Stuffed Baked Zucchini

printable recipe here

4 globe-shaped zucchini (use the long ones if that’s all you have)

Filling (enough for about 8 zucchini. If making only four, as I did, you’ll have enough filling left to make a small meat loaf)

1/4 cup onion

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 pound ground meat (turkey, chicken, or beef)

2 eggs

1/3 cup bread crumbs

minced parsley

salt, pepper

tomato sauce

Boil the zucchini for five minutes. Remove and cool. Slice off the top, then make a circle in the flesh, scoring the circle into many parts. Remove the interior of the zucchini using a grapefruit spoon. Discard.

Saute the onion in the olive oil. Place the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tomato sauce, in a mixing bowl. Add the onion and mix everything well. Stuff the zucchini with the mixture, and put the zucchini cap on top, then cover the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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  1. Splendid! That is a classic I have always loved. Your stuffed zucchini look lip-smackingly good!



  2. Oh this looks so good! I've got a great big zucchini on the counter too! But now I'm torn which of your zucchini recipes to try first!

  3. I love stuffed zucchini, and I happen to have some of the round ones laying around!

  4. wow, what a gorgeous stuffed zucchini! I have not seen those globe zucchini yet, I will have to look for them! Great pics too!!

  5. I think this is a great way to use this squash and your recipe sounds great.

  6. Oh I've been dying to try a dish like this for ages, but i never see appropriately shaped zucchini at the market - only ever the long thin variety. rest assured, when I do find some nice fat specimens, I'll be back for this recipe!

  7. Linda these look so delicious! The colors are amazing!
    You just made me so hungry!

  8. Oh yum, one of my favorite dishes! Too bad I've never seen the globe zucchinis anywhere around here. The presentation is gorgeous!

  9. I love your globe zucchini...they are perfect for stuffing.

  10. I love all the zucchini recipes, these look delicious. Globe zucchini are perfect for stuffing.

  11. Aww those are so cute and the perfect size for stuffing!

  12. Little round zucchini are pefect for stuffing and I saw some at the market last weekend. I usually use only veggies, but I'm ready for a heartier version. Your recipe looks fantastic, Linda.

  13. I love the shape of globe zucchinis and they look so pretty, as well as delicious, stuffed.

  14. Oh smiles - zucchini shaped like peppers. No, we don't have them in MN ...yet.. I hear there are places that sell seeds. Delicious as always. Something so welcoming about those little stuffed globes with their hats on.

  15. Those globe zucchinis are so adorable, they make for a great presentation. At first glance, these reminded me of Chinese dish my mother makes - bittergourd (or bittermelon) stuffed with ground meat, although I think I'd much prefer eating your stuffed zucchini!

  16. Oh girl, I am smitten! How come I can't find those here???

  17. lucky you, Linda...been looking for these rounded zucchinis but I can't them even in our Farmers Market...these stunning stuffed zukes make my mouth water!

  18. you need to sign up for that master chef show Linda! You have my vote hands down.

  19. Oh so yummmm and so beautiful I never find many varieties of squash here now, it seems I have to go to the more expensive stores to find the different foods.

    I so love all squash, both summer and winter. I will just cut a long Zucchini in half and pretend it is a round one... grin.

    Your beautiful food and wonderful recipe again made me starve.

    But tonight I am going to make Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Barbeque Curry Sauce. And it changes each time I make it... according to what I have and how many spices.

    Again, a super, duper Yuuumm.

  20. I love the way these look and I can tell from your recipe that they are just delicious. Your photography is as amazing as your recipes. I hope the day treats you well. Blessings...Mary

  21. These look not only beautiful but delicious!

  22. Oo, mom does stuffed bell peppers but I bet zucchinis are even better!

  23. this is delicious dish...I made something similar but with peppers and use ground turkey....yum!!!

  24. Would you believe I'm growing my own zucchini for the first time ever? 'Tis true! I really do live under a rock, because I've never seen these globe ones. True comfort food, indeed. I love zucchini and could enjoy it year-round. Me thinks this is one of the ways I'll do it.