I’ve been overwhelmed by zucchini and other summer squash for the past month. I receive 2lbs of fresh squash each week from the organic produce delivery service and find myself running low on new ideas. I read through a few food blogs for ideas and reviewed a wonderful list of ideas published by Kalyn, but nothing seemed to catch my interest.
I turned to a google search and came across the usual About.com and Recipezaar pages, all of which usually don’t appeal to me. However, this time I noticed one result from Recipezaar for a ‘Drop Dead Delicious Stuffed Zucchini’ and when I read it, I instantly fell in love. [note: I've since discovered a wonderful cookbook with lots of ideas: The Classic Zucchini Cookbook: 225 Recipes for All Kinds of Squash]. I’ve also since put together a post with 10 stuffed zucchini recipes to give you even more inspiration!
While I often distrust recipes from random people on recipe websites, I noticed that this stuffed zucchini recipe was written by Canarygirl who many of you may know from her blog of the same name. And, as if by cosmic fate, the recipe was added to Recipezaar on June 24th, 2002 – my birthday (no, I will not tell you which year I was born). I believe that there are greater forces at work, so I took this as the sign I should make the recipe ASAP.
The recipe is from her mother-in-law who is famous for this dish. I’m not sure what she had to do to bribe her mother-in-law for the recipe, but I’m glad it worked. I only slightly altered the recipe which you can find from the link above. In the recipe page you will also find the nutritional breakdown which is helpful.
The magic in the recipe comes from the combination of roasted red peppers, green pepper, onion, garlic and herbs. I substituted lean ground turkey breast in order to reduce the fat content. Since the overall dish contained plenty of veggies and lean protein, I did splurge by using real, unadulterated provolone cheese.
First, you begin by parboiling the squash whole. You then allow them to cool, slice in half, and scoop out the insides and reserve. You basically make squash boats. While all of this cools, you can prepare the filling, a mix of sauteed vegetables and ground meat. The scooped out squash is mixed into the filling at the very end along with beaten egg.
Finally, you fill the boats with heaping mounds of the filling then top with cheese. I tore up a few slices of provolone and draped over the stuffed zucchini.
The zucchinis are baked for 30 minutes. The cheese will melt down into the stuffing in the most heavenly way. I like my cheese when nicely browned but feel to bake to your liking, just make sure the stuffing is cooked through and the egg has set. You can always place a piece of foil over the top if you feel the cheese is getting too brown.
The stuff zucchinis tasted so good – full of flavor, nice mix of textures, and a healthy ratio of vegetables to lean protein. I haven’t had cheese in a few months so it totally made my toes curl. And, although I didn’t drop dead as the title suggested, it is over-the-top delicious.
I’ve also come across a few interesting zucchini-related kitchen utensils that you may find interesting: