Monday, February 6, 2012

Stuffed zucchini with zucchini flowers

Well, our zucchini glut continues. I have mastered a dozen different methods of preparing these green and yellow tubes. Some days a zucchini can grow from being 5cm long in the morning to 20cm long in the afternoon! So imagine my surprise some mornings when I’m confronted by a zucchini monster!
Here is a Stephanie Alexander recipe from her Kitchen Garden Companion that is currently a favourite in our house:

The stuffing is sufficient to fill two large zucchini. Once you have cooked the zucchini, cut and serve them in thick slices as part of an antipasti platter or a side dish to chicken or meat.
Note my groovy new compost and chook bins. I picked them up at Ikea a few weeks ago.

2 x 14cm zucchini or 1 x 20 – 22 cm zucchini
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for drizzling
½ onion, finely chopped
6 male zucchini flowers (if you have them) chopped
1 free range egg
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, plus extra for scattering
25g parmesan, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 deg
Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions till soft and golden. Tip into a large bowl.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. With a sharp spoon gauge a channel in the flesh so that all the seeds and some flesh are removed, then chop removed flesh and add to bowl with onion. Brush a baking dish with a little extra olive oil and place zucchini halves inside, and then set aside.
Add chopped flowers (if using), egg, thyme, parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs and parmesan to onion/zucchini mixture and mix together. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Fill hollowed-out zucchini with stuffing. Scatter over extra breadcrumbs and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

Bake for around an hour or till the tops are golden. Leave to cool a little before cutting into thick slices.
This dish keeps well for a few days. It is best served just warm.

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