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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Simple Stuffed Zucchini

Believe it or not, I really have noticed that I have only posted one side dish since I've started this blog!  So I thought it was high time to post some!  Chris and I are pretty picky about the vegetables we eat, so don't expect a lot of sides to be posted here, but I will do my best to get in a few!

This is my very simple stuffed zucchini recipe. The crunchiness of the stuffing makes me think of when my mom made fried zucchini when I was a kid.  There's a lot to say about my mom's fried zucchini...and I will get to it...but not this post.  Just know that my mom's fried zucchini recipe is coming up .... when?  I don't know, don't rush me!!  (by the way, Mom if you are reading this, I know I didn't ask, but I didn't think this one was a family secret..xoxo) The nice thing about this recipe is it can turn into so much more. This starts out simple, but add some ground beef or Italian sausage to it and all of a sudden it's more the main dish then just a side kick!  I made these in the oven, but I really love doing them on grill.  If you grill them though, it's best to toast the panko in a pan on the stove before you stuff just gives a better flavor to the stuffing.  (if you are interested in doing this and don't quite know how, email me and I'll send you the instructions)

Simple Stuffed Zucchini
1 medium zucchini squash
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb mix (or you can use a mix of basil, oregano, and parsley)
2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash the zucchini, split lengthwise, and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.
Mix the remaining ingredients, except cheddar cheese, together in a bowl.  Fill the zucchini with the panko mixture (I sprinkled some red pepper flakes on mine just for a bit of a kick) and place on baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish.  (you may drizzle lightly with olive oil at this point if you want)
Bake for 8 minutes, rotating the pan half way through.  Remove pan from oven, top with cheddar cheese, return to oven and bake until cheese has melted, another 1-2 minutes.  Enjoy! 

**Please note, the baking time may vary.  Keep on eye on the zucchini, you don't want it to be under cooked, but you definitely don't want it to be a soggy mess either.  You'll have to judge for yourself on how firm or soft you want it to be, it's definitely a personal taste!**

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