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.