Stuffed Zucchini… adapted from the The Moosewood Cookbook recipe for Zuccanoes

aji limon hot peppers

Ok, so BFF Katie Q needed a stuffed zucchini recipe.  This is an awesome recipe from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, adapted for a meat lover, but this is a completely vegan dish.  It’s good to have summer squash recipes handy when they come so fast and furious.  Harvest squash on the  smaller side, before they become uber-seedy.

Oh, and my new favorite hot peppers are the  Aji Limon (Capsicum baccatum) Peruvian heirloom variety.  Mildly hot, brightly flavored with lemony overtones (and pretty, too!)  I found the plants  at the Troy Farmers market this spring.  Cultivated by the Incas at least 3,000 years ago, they’re comparable in heat  to cayenne.   Their hot, fruity quality create a nice complexity of flavors (great in salsas.)

  • 4 medium zucchini (about 7 inches long ideally or use what you have)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1.5 c chopped onion
  • 1 or 2 small hot peppers finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 medium cloves garlic chopped
  • 1.5 c cooked brown rice
  • 2 vegan burgers (or use vegan crumbles)
  • 3 tbs lemon joice
  • fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 slices of good white bread (peasant bread, italian, sourdough, etc)
  • 1 tbs or more Earth Balance spread
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • cayenne or black pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out a shell to make canoes.  Heat the oil in a medium skilled and saute the onion, salt, and hot peppers (if using) about 5 minutes until soft.  Add the frozen burgers (or crumbles) and the garlic to the onion mix until just heated through.  If using burgers, use a spatula to break them into crumbly pieces.  In a large bowel, mix the rice, lemon juice, and parsley, then add the sauteed mixture until well blended.  Spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats.  Cook them in a lightly oiled pan for 30-45 minutes depending on their size.

While they are cooking, lightly toast the bread and then whirl in a food processor to make crumbs.  Melt the Earth Balance in the skillet and add the bread crumbs until they are nicely browned, then toss in a generous amount of fresh chopped parsley.

About 10 minutes before the zucchini are done, pull the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  I like to toss about a tablespoon of Nutritional yeast on each one as well, to add a slightly cheesy taste (and a kick of Vitamin B12).  Season with the cayenne or black pepper and put back into the oven until the zucchini are fork tender.

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