California Central Coast Recipes
This is one of my favorite ways to serve zucchini though the preparation is a little more involved. So only make this when you have a little more time, but it's worth it!
We really like zucchini so when I make them I make extra and we eat the zucchini as the main entree.
When I make them for guests, I normally make them a few hours before our scheduled meal time but don't bake them until just before dinner. They're always a "hit" with my guests.
Using a grapefruit spoon to scrape out the zucchini centers really cuts down the prep time, so if you have one, be sure to use it.
Preparation time: 1 hour Cooking time: 50 minutes
10 Medium Zucchini , eight for serving, two extra for pulp and mistakes
3 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups onion , finely chopped
1 cup prosciutto or ham , finely chopped
4 cups fresh bread crumbs , (allow 1 slice bread for each zucchini)
1/2 cup Italian parsley , chopped
2-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese , grated
1 Large egg , beaten
1/2 teaspoons Dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoons nutmeg , grated
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper.
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 Cut off just the tip of the rough end of each zucchini (optional for looks only). Cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise.
3 With a paring knife, carefully make a shallow outline cut, about 1/4 inch inside the rim of each half. Be careful not to cut through the outside skin. With a grapefruit spoon (or teaspoon) scrape out the pulp of the zucchini centers leaving a zucchini shell with a wall thickness of about a 1/4 inch. Be careful not to poke through the bottoms of each half. Reserve the pulp for later. Chop the zucchini pulp and put aside until later.
4 In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until the onion is softened.
5 Add in proscuitto, chopped zucchini pulp, bread crumbs and parsley.
6 Continue to saute while stirring frequently. (You may need to add a bit more olive oil to prevent from sticking.)
7 Add in the marjoram, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir well.
8 When mixture looks cooked, remove from heat and add in 2 cups Parmesan cheese and the egg. Mix well.
9 Stuff zucchini halves with onion - bread mixture. Place filled zucchini in a large baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the tops of the zucchini halves. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the tops.
10 Bake 50 - 60 minutes until lightly browned. When done, remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.
11 Serve two halves per person.
If you're in the mood for cold, a nice cold Chardonnay (that's a little acidic) is good, but a young red wine will go well too.