If you read this blog, you know that I love to stuff vegetables, as I did here and here and here. It's a way to get people to eat vegetables who otherwise wouldn't and it can also be a great way to make a special dish ahead of time. You assemble the vegetables, refrigerate the dish and then pop it into the oven right before you need it. I really love doing that because it frees me up to concentrate on the rest of the menu.
Zucchini can be really bland. This recipe adds a lot in the flavor department to this vegetable. You blanch the zucchini in boiling water, cut them in half, scoop out the insides and fill them with any stuffing you like. I used a mixture of onion, garlic, prosciutto and cheese.
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- 4 medium zucchini
- 1/2 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- pinch of red hot chili pepper
- 4 slices prosciutto, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Blanch the whole zucchini in boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove.
Trim ends off zucchini. Cut in half, lengthwise. Scoop out insides, leaving 1/8 inch of the flesh all around. Chop the zucchini flesh and set aside.
Place zucchini halves on baking sheet. Salt and pepper them.
Make stuffing: In a large skillet, saute the onion in a little olive oil and salt for a few minutes, until soft. Add garlic and red hot chili pepper and saute one minute more. Add zucchini flesh and some salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, turn off the heat and add the chopped prosciutto, parsley and cheese. ( If you are going to stuff the zucchini and cook them later, let the stuffing cool before you fill the zucchini. Fill them and refrigerate them until you want to cook them and then bring them out about 30 minutes before you want to cook them, to bring them to room temperature. )
Bring the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle a little olive oil over the vegetables. Cover the pan tightly with foil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 10 minutes. Grate additional parmesan over the top.