Our vege patch is requiring some pretty intense zucchini centred creativity at the moment. To say that they're prolific would be an understatement. This 1.6 kg monster was a stealth zucchini, hiding in the garden until it was so big that we couldn't possibly NOT see it!
In an effort to turn it into an edible meal, I decided to cut it into rounds, cut out the middle and fill the holes with stuffing. It was surprisingly yummy, even if the skin was a little tough. You could use any type of stuffing you liked, but this time I used a pork, basil and parmesan stuffing and cooked it with a basic tomato sauce. Obviously, you don't need a giant zucchini to do this - normal zucchinis cut lengthways and hollowed out would be yummy, too!Zucchini with pork, basil & parmesan stuffing
1 extra large zucchini cut into rounds with seeds removed (or lots of little ones halved lengthways with seeds removed)
1 white bread roll
1/4 cup milk, approx
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g pork mince
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 jar tomato passata
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 180ºC. In a large, oiled baking dish, place the zucchini in a single layer, rubbing tops of zucchini with a little oil as well. Pull the insides out of the bread roll and put it in a bowl with enough milk to soak through all the bread. Set aside. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until translucent, add half the garlic and cook for another minute then set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, mix together pork, basil, half the parmesan, bread and milk, onion and garlic, and season well with salt & pepper. Divide the pork mixture between the zucchini slices and bake for about 15 mins.
Meanwhile, place remaining garlic in a cold saucepan with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and set over medium heat, keeping a close eye on it and stirring frequently. When it starts to colour add tomato passata (be careful, it will probably spit), bring to boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Season to taste.
Remove zucchini from oven, carefully pour tomato sauce around the zucchini and sprinkle stuffing with remaining parmesan. Return to oven for 20 mins or until zucchini is tender. You may need to cover the dish with foil if the sauce is drying out or the cheese browns too quickly.
Serve with salad.
The Thursday hub of creativity can be found here. Check it out for some serious inspiration!