Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish.
Hiding in the a corner of our garden we found a behomoth zucchini. If we had waited any longer to harvest this baby, it could have starred in a B movie: “The Squash That Ate Limerick, Maine.” Anyway, we detached it from the vine before it could strike fear into the hearts of our neighbors. So, what to do with this thing? Well, it seemed to have "stuff me" written all over it.
We've been eating zucchini and yellow squash for the past week, sauted with garlic, baked, and in a soup. Our friend Laura mentioned grilling as another great way to prepare summer squash. There are gazillions of ways to cook, bake, or grill zucchini. In fact, if you have a favorite zucchini recipe, please share it with us.
To add to the rice stuffing I collected chives, thyme, kale, endive and beet greens from the garden. Go ahead and substitute any greens and herbs that you have on hand.
1 large zucchini (we used one about 15” long), scrubbed
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp butter or olive oil, divided
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup kale, finely chopped
1/2 cup beet greens, finely chopped
1/4 cup chives, minced
1/4 cup endive, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil for oiling shells
4 slices whole wheat bread, cut into small cubes
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the zucchini: slice in half lengthwise, and scrape it out until a 1/2” thick shell remains. Coarsely chop the scraped-out flesh and seeds. Place the shells on a baking sheet and set aside.
Melt 2 Tbps butter or heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Turn down heat to medium low. Add diced bread, pepper and thyme. Saute 5 minutes to brown the bread. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Melt 2 Tbs butter or olive oil in the skillet. Add onion and saute until soft (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and saute another minute. Add chopped squash pulp and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Add kale, beet greens, chives and endive. Simmer another 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add the cooked brown rice and mix.
Oil the insides of the zucchini shells with the 2 tsp of olive oil. Divide the rice mixture between the two shells. Top with the bread crumbs. Grate Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the top of each. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness by piercing the zucchini with a fork- if it is done it will be soft. Bake longer if needed. Serve and enjoy. -G.H.