Happy weekend, everyone. Temperatures are have been much more tolerable here on the east coast—enough to bake in a countertop oven, lol.
Sometime last year I posted a recipe for stuffed zucchini. Because I like to find creative ways to “use up” those little amounts of food in the fridge that will often otherwise get tossed, I wind up playing around with flavors. Here’s a take on the stuffed zucch that turned out surprisingly yummy and a bit differently flavorful!
You will need:
3-4 small sweet Italian sausage links
BBQ sauce of choice
1 large zucchini (or about 4 small ones)
2-3 small zucchini (about10 inches long, smaller diameters, coarsely chopped)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped (or more, to taste)
1 ripe tomato (optional, chopped, seeds removed)
canola and/or olive oil
½-cup of seasoned bread crumbs
1/4-cup grated cheese (I like parmesan)
fresh basil to taste (cut into small pieces)
fresh parsley (chopped, stems too)
salt, pepper, Adobo, paprika and/or oregano to taste
Start with the zucchini and onion base (i.e., chopped zucchini and onion seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, Adobo, paprika—all your choice—and sautéed until crisp-tender). Make enough to stuff one of the clubs—er, larger zucchs.
Boil* 3-4 small sweet Italian sausage links to remove some of the fat and salt. Remove from pot, cut in half lengthwise and brush with BBQ sauce. Grill** until browned and sauce caramelized. Transfer to plate and slice into medallions or crumble. Set aside.
Cut a large zucchini in half lengthwise. (The bigger the better. This is a great way to use up those Bam-Bam clubs my husband often finds hiding at the bottom of his plants, lol.) Remove the seeds and as much flesh as you like. (I tend not to use the flesh from the large zucchini, as the seeds are quite big.) Keep in mind, this part could taste a little bland if you don’t hull it out quite a bit. Depends on how much you like plain baked zucchini, lol.
Season each half with olive oil spray, salt, pepper and/or Adobo. Place each half in a shallow pan or directly on rack of a 375-degree (F) for approximately ten minutes (or while you prepare the stuffing.)
In a separate bowl, place zucchini/onion mixture, tomato, sausage, bread crumbs, grated cheese, fresh basil to taste and one egg. Mix thoroughly. Spoon into each half of the big zucch. Sprinkle with more grated cheese. Wrap each ‘boat’ with foil and seal. Bake until large zucch is tender to your liking and filling is heated through. (I’m thinking about 30 minutes, at least 375 degrees F.) Uncover from the top and brown under broiler, adding mozzarella (or even feta cheese), if desired.
Remove from oven, allow to set at least five minutes then cut and serve. Depending on the size of the large zucchini, you can serve 2-4 or slice into smaller pieces and serve as an appetizer or side dish. Leftovers WILL taste even better once those flavors come together–enjoy! (FYI, my original recipe is here, on my Recipe Central page. Just scroll down to the seventh post, immediately following the photo of the pumpkin blossoms. You’ll also find the link to the base zucchini/onion filling and some other ideas on what to do with that!)
*You can skip boiling if you don’t mind the added fat/salt.
** Brown on a griddle or hot frying pan if grilling is not an option.
BTW, my online friend Stephanie posted a stuffed zucchini recipe at her blog the same day I made mine for the first time. I think hers look so much prettier; try them both and let us know your preference! While you’re there, check out her no-bake chocolate-peanut butter cookie recipe and her post on saving $$. You’ll be glad you did!
So how about sharing some of your favorite fresh-from-the-garden (or farmers’ market) recipe? I’m always game for trying someone else’s take on my favorites! And if this recipe sounded good to you, mind clicking on one of the SHARE buttons below to help spread the word? Thanks!
Until next time,