There’s an abundance of zucchini available across the country right now, so there’s no better time to make something delicious with them. I’ve sautéed them for a stir fry; grilled them; made zucchini stew, sauce and bread; but my favorite way to eat zucchini is to stuff it. It’s such a creative experience.
There’s an almost infinite number of ways you can stuff a zucchini. Whether you’re vegetarian
, vegan, gluten-free or a conscious carnivore, you can customize your zucchini to your liking. Just follow this simple process, then go do your thing.
Roast it: Cut in half vertically and roast (cut side down) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until the inner flesh is soft but the outer skin holds it shape
Scoop out the flesh and puree it: A few seconds in a food processor or mixer.
Sauté some onions and garlic: Follow up by adding whatever other ingredients you'd like.
Please note that the inner flesh of zucchini is watery, so regardless of what you decide to add to it, one of the ingredients needs to be something that acts as a binder. It could be mashed potatoes (as in this recipe), or cooked rice, polenta, bread crumbs, mashed chickpeas or beans, quinoa, lentils, cooked and chopped meat… you get the idea.
This time I chose to make my stuffing a cross between cheddar mashed potatoes and “creamed” spinach. This was so good I could've eaten all four myself — seriously!
Zucchini Stuffed With Spinach, Potato and Cheddar
(feeds 4 or more)
- 2 medium zucchini, cut in half vertically
- 2 cups of mashed potatoes
- 8 ounces of fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup of diced sweet onion
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
- 4 tablespoons of panko
- 8 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half vertically
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place a medium 11” saute pan over medium heat.
Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking.
Add the onions and cook until softened (about 3 minutes).
Add garlic, cook for a few moments, just until it begins to color and add the spinach.
Cook for about two minutes or just until it wilts. Add a splash of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the puree from the zucchini and the potato, season and stir.
Fill each of the 4 zucchini boats, top each with 4 half tomatoes, sprinkle with panko and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or just until the panko browns to a golden color.
Serve whole or in segments as an appetizer, side dish, or entree.