Summer Stuffed Zucchini
Summer food is my favorite food. When I think of this recipe, I think of eating outside, enjoying a big platter of grilled chicken or fresh fish. I think about picking out perfectly ripe zucchinis from the farmers market and selecting a handful of basil from my mini herb garden. This recipe is the epitome of simple, delicious, seasonal food. It’s light but satisfying and will go with whatever you’re cooking. This flavor packed summer dish will go with any dinner you make or serve as a delicious lunch on its own. Serves 8.
· 4 medium zucchinis
· ½ pound spicy Italian sausage
· 1 small yellow onion—diced
· 2 cloves garlic—chopped
· 1 ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
· 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
· 1 cup cherry tomatoes—quartered
· ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
· 1 cup fresh basil—finely chopped
· ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
· Freshly cracked black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Remove sausage casing and brown sausage in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage into small pieces.
3. Once the sausage has browned, about 5 minutes, transfer it to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Return the sauté pan to the stove, reserving the fat from the sausage.
4. Add the chopped yellow onion to the sauté pan over medium heat and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
5. Wash and halve the zucchinis length wise. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the inside of the zucchini to create hollow, boat like shapes. Transfer the zucchini pulp to a cutting board and roughly chop.
6. In a mixing bowl combine half the chopped zucchini, browned sausage, onion, garlic, fresh bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, and grated parmesan. Mix to combine.
7. Season the mixture with freshly cracked black pepper. Gently fold in the cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
8. Using a spoon fill each zucchini half with about a 1/3 cup of the stuffing. Arrange in a glass casserole and top with shredded mozzarella.
9. Bake for 25 minutes. Until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Serve hot.