Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

Remember that giant zucchini in this week's veggie bag? (pictured again, below at right) We found a great recipe and turned it into dinner.

With thanks to Mario Batali and adapted from this recipe.

1 large or 4 medium zucchini
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound ground lamb, crumbled
2 eggs
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, picked but left whole
1 cup marinara sauce (we used Newman's Own)
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the flesh making a canal down the center of each zucchini half, leaving 1/4- to 1/2-inch all around and the ends closed. Chop the excess zucchini, less any large seeds, and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the zucchini pieces and crumbled lamb and cook until the lamb is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain the fat and excess liquid from the lamb mixture and place in a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool briefly. Add the eggs, half of the mint leaves and the tomato sauce and mix well. Season both the mixture and the zucchini boats with salt and pepper. Fill the zucchini boats with the mixture. We had some leftover and used it to fill a green pepper from the garden. 
Place in an oven-proof baking dish just large enough to hold all the zucchini and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake on the bottom rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with mint leaves. I also had a little goat cheese garnish, which was a nice addition.

Serves 4 as a main course.

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