A Gift From the Italian Garden
OK! Going out on a limb here – but I don’t usually do this unless I know I am on terra firma.On this one, I can safely state this is the BEST BAKED STUFFED ZUCCHINI you’ll find anywhere. YUP! I said it, and it’s true. This stuff is the bomb! It will be the “side” that goes first at your cook outs and barbeques. So, run out now and get all the zucchini you can find or harvest, and make extra. This is the one!
Zucchini is definitely one of the wonders of the Italian garden. In fact, it can safely be said that you can’t have a truly Italian garden without growing some. If you haven’t considered planting it in your garden, give it a try. It kind of grows on its own – a no-brainer! Also it makes an attractive plant in any setting, even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. Its flowers are legendary, beautiful, and you can cook them as well – stuff for another post.
You know how zucchini really is kind of lifeless and rather tasteless on its own? Well this zucchini dish takes it to a new level where everyone will want more.
It is so darn easy too!
Make room for this one next to the potato or macaroni salad or beans or whatever. Happy to report that it is also comparatively healthy. So what are we waiting for – ?
It’s a done deal! You and this dish will be heralded in the annals of barbeque legend for centuries to come. Wellll.. ok maaaybe not centuries?? I do get carried away when I’m excited about some dishes, and yeah, this is one of them. Suffice it to say, this one is a winner. So go for it!
BAKED STUFFED ZUCCHINI
Serves: 2 – or more if cut into smaller pieces
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40-45 minutes
1 Medium Zucchini – split in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out with a spoon
1 Beautifully Ripe Fresh Tomato – skinned: drop in boiling water for a couple of minutes & peel skin off easily
1 Clove Fresh Garlic – chopped
1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano – chopped
2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil – chopped
1 ½ Tbsp. Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
2 Tbsp. Fresh Breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
Oil a baking dish and also oil both sides of each zucchini half. Place the halves cut side up in the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Chop the fresh tomato and mix with the chopped garlic and the herbs. (If for some reason, you must use dried herbs, remember that you use less of the dried than fresh.) Add some salt and pepper to this mixture and spoon it all along the top of the zucchini halves.
Top this with the grated cheese.
Spread the fresh breadcrumbs on the top of the cheese & sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Finally, drizzle some good Extra Virgin Olive Oil over each half.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until a fork penetrates the zucchini easily. (Time may depend on the size of your zucchini.) During the baking process, check the baking dish for dryness. Add a little water to the baking dish ,if needed, to prevent browning of the bottom of the dish.
When finished baking and still hot, give the zucchini one last drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. That finishing touch will give it one last nudge into heavenly!
Try this BAKED STUFFED ZUCCHINI at your next cook out or whatever. You’ll want to take this one to the patio immediately. They’ll love you for it!!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography