Don't worry about waiting for the zucchini in either your own garden or your neighbor's to explode in overabundance - fresh zuchini is available year round in almost every part of the country. It's delicious, packed with vitamins and full of flavor. Better yet - it's inexpensive. Which makes it a frequent star of the table at my house.
Simple sauteed zuchini is a favorite of course - but it does get old after a while. No problem - zuchinni is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. It can go sweet or savory, and takes on the flavors of whatever it's cooked with beautifully. So in my quest to find as many dishes as possible that use zuchinni, I've been able to pair it with just about everything.
In this dish, there are the best of all possible worlds. It takes on the flavors of the other veggies and the croutons, while keeping a crisp-tender texture that's awesome. It's hearty enough to star as a meatless main dish if you wish it to, or it goes gorgeously with any number of proteins as a wonderful side. Try it with roasted pork loin, or whole roast chicken. The cheese and croutons make this appealing to even my pickiest eater, and the rest of the children actually love it.
Give this one a try - you'll discover it's easy and adaptable, inexpensive and delicious. Bombshell!
- 6 medium zuchini, halved lengthwise for boats, or cut into wide disks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbl butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup garlic croutons
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed very dry
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place the zuchinni, cut side up, on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and black peper. Bake for ten minutes, or just until barely beginning to become tender. Don't overcook at this point or they'll become mushy after they're stuffed. You just want to be able to scoop out the pulp.
- Scoop out the pulp, making sure to keep the shells intact. Set pulp and shells aside.
- Over medium heat, in a large skillet, saute onion for about five minutes or just until beginning to turn translucent and fragrant. Add all remaining ingredients to the skillet, as well as the reserved pulp of the zuchinni. Stir well to comine.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook stuffing mixture for a few minutes, or just until warmed through. Taste, and adjust for salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into the shells, pressing slightly and mounding in as much as possible. Return shells to the baking sheet.
- Bake stuffed zuchini shells for about 15 minutes, or until heated, and the cheese in the stuffing has melted and become gooey. That's it!
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectacular results!
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