Thursday, August 23, 2018

An August sentiment: Where did these gigantic zucchini come from?

For those of you who keep vegetable gardens, you'll be able to appreciate this August sentiment -- each mammoth zucchini seems to be larger than the last. Wednesday, I thought I had "caught up" on all of the zucchini. Then Thursday afternoon I was picking tomatoes for dinner and found yet another mammoth zucchini hiding under the leaves. So, what's a cook to do?

Besides zucchini bread, relish, and veggie medleys, here's something really delicious that will use one very large zucchini in one blow -- baked, stuffed zucchini.

Here's the size of one from a couple of weeks ago. I put a banana next to it to give you an indication of size.

To stuff:
I used a melon baller to scoop out the center of each half. (Those scoops of zucchini flesh were then later chopped and added to vegetable soup.)
I stuffed mine with a mixture of cooked, chopped chicken breast, bread crumbs, herbs, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. After filling, I topped with additional Parmesan.
On an oiled baking sheet, I baked the stuffed halves for about 35 minutes, at about 350 degrees, until the cheese was browned on top. The zucchini part was crisp-tender.

You can also stuff with loose Italian sausage, or bread crumbs, herbs and cheese. Since you want the zucchini part to cook well, keep your fillings dense. So, if just doing bread crumbs with cheese, add a bit of milk, beaten egg, or just water to the crumb mixture. This way the filling and the zucchini will cook to about the same doneness.