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Stuffed Giant Zucchini

baked-stuffed-vegetarian-zucchiniFrom the Swiss Secret by Dr. Thomas Rau:

Here’s a delightful vegetarian dish that will serve 6 as a side or 4 as a main course, accompanied by a salad. If you can’t find a giant zucchini, simply use 2 large.

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 very large zucchini (about 2 ½ pounds)4 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
swisssecretbook-cover1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
¾ teaspoon crushed red hot pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves and finely diced stems
2 medium-small red potatoes, cooked, peeled, and finely diced
1 cup corn kernels, cooked fresh, thawed frozen or vacuum packed
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon black olive tapenade
¼ cup shredded Pecorino Romano or Manchego cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim the zucchini and split lengthwise in half. With a large spoon or grapefruit knife, scoop out the pulpy center, leaving a ¾ inch shell all around. Discard any very seedy parts and finely dice the rest of the zucchini pulpy center. Brush the shells with ½ tablespoon of the oil and bake for 10-12 minutes, until they are tender but still hold their shape. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, hot pepper, diced zucchini, and chard stems and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves and cook, stirring often, for another 2 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and corn and cook, stirring, until hot, about 2 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in the broth, cream, tomato paste, and tapenade. Simmer, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the vegetable mixture is thick, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the zucchini shells, packing it in and mounding it in the center. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each half and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes, until the dish is hot and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
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