Ginormous zucchini in your garden? Try this recipe, hollowed out zucchini, stuffed with basil pesto, fresh croutons, Mozzarella, pine nuts and cherry tomatoes.
- 2 cups of day old cubed bread*
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 very large zucchini (about 2 pounds), otherwise known as a baseball bat zucchini
- 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
- A handful of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
*The bread should be a little dry, this way it will toast better. If you don't have day old or slightly dry bread, cut up fresh bread and lay out on a baking sheet. Heat in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.
1 Toast croutons: In a medium skillet, melt butter on medium to medium high heat. Add the slightly dry cubed bread, toss to coat at least some of the sides in a little butter.
Lay out in a single layer cook, without moving the croutons, until one side is lightly browned, then toss and let cook a little more so a few more sides get a little brown. Remove from pan and let cool to touch.
2 Toast pine nuts: While the croutons are browning, heat a small skillet on high. Add the pine nuts and cook until they begin to brown (do not walk away, once they start browning they can easily go from brown to burnt!).
When they start to brown, remove them from the pan into a small bowl.
3 Combine croutons, Mozzarella, pesto, Parmesan, tomatoes, pine nuts: Place the croutons and Mozzarella in a medium bowl. Toss with the pesto. Add the grated Parmesan, chopped cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and toss some more.
4 Stuff the zucchini boats: Heat the oven to 375°F. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inner flesh with a metal spoon, leaving 1/4 to a 1/2-inch thickness in the zucchini boats.**
5 Bake in oven: Place the zucchini boats in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the inside of the boats with salt. Fill the boats with the stuffing mixture.
Pour a cup or so of water into the bottom of the roasting pan (so that zucchini doesn't dry out on the outside), to about 1/4 inch depth.
Bake for 45 minutes at 375°F.
**In this recipe we are not using the zucchini flesh that we have scooped out. You can easily freeze it for later use with zucchini recipes such as zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, or zucchini cake. Or you can chop some of it up and mix it in with the stuffing mixture.