Starting in September around here, people who grow zucchini in their garden begin to discover super-sized zukes that somehow missed getting picked earlier and just kept on growing.
My mother's friend Claire gave us such a monster zucchini from her garden this week—14 inches long, and weighing at least a couple of pounds!
Fortunately for us, she also included her favorite stuffed zucchini recipe, tried and true. Mushrooms, onions, ham and butter—yes, it was fabulous. Thank you Claire!
Stuffed Zucchini With Ham and Mushrooms
- 4 medium sized zucchini (at least 1/2 pound each) OR 3 large zucchini (3/4 pound each) OR 1 jumbo zucchini (2 pounds)
- 4 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 10 ounces of fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped ham
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
Prep the zucchini:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash and scrub the zucchini; split each in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, leaving shells about 1/3-inch to 1/2-inch thick.
Steam the zucchini halves:
Steam the zucchini halves until almost tender, about 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of the zucchini.
Note that for a jumbo zucchini, you'll need to get a little creative with the steaming, as the halves won't fit in a normal steamer. I steamed mine in a fish poacher. You could put a large zucchini on a rack in a roasting pan over half an inch of boiling water, cover it with aluminum foil and cook it in a hot oven until almost tender.
Sauté onions, mushrooms, add ham, parsley:
While the zucchini is steaming, melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan, add the chopped onions and sliced mushrooms, sauté until soft. Stir in the ham, parsley, Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Stuff the zucchini halves:
Pile the stuffing into well-drained zucchini shells. Mix the breadcrumbs and grated cheese together and sprinkle over the stuffed zucchini. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter and drip over the breadcrumbs.
Place the zucchini boats in a greased baking pan; bake at 350°F until toasted on top and heated through, 20-30 minutes.