Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini (slightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse)

Do you have an abundance of zucchini this summer and needing some recipe ideas? I tried these Stuffed Zucchini from Emeril Lagasse, this week and they were a big hit with my husband. The first time I made them, I cut the recipe in half, you know, just in case we didn't like them. But early into our meal, my husband said,"Man, these are good"! And they are sooo very good, addictive really. I've made them twice this week and we have loved and enjoyed every bite! Our kids haven't tried them, so that leaves more for us! Just a little sausage adds so much flavor to this filling. The first time I tried the recipe, I followed it closely. The second time not as much. Check out Emeril's recipe here. My version follows; let's cook! Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the inner flesh with a melon baller or whatever works for you.
Brown the sausage and add onion and chopped zucchini trimmings and other ingredients and cook just a few minutes. Stir in bread crumbs and spoon filling into zucchini shells and bake.

Sound easy? It is. There is some preparation, but it's not too time consuming. I haven't veered far from Emeril's recipe, just made some minor changes. He salted each zucchini half and laid it upside down on paper towels while preparing the filling. I did the same the first time through the recipe, but couldn't tell much difference really. So that's up to you. I added some mushrooms the second time through, which were very yummy, but not necessary, if you don't want to use them. I didn't use oil to cook the sausage as it really didn't need it. And, I didn't use Gruyere cheese, as I couldn't find any at the store. Let's make these delicious Stuffed Zucchini!
STUFFED ZUCCHINI (adapted slightly from Emeril Lagasse)
8 small zucchini, about 7-8 inches long
6 ounces sausage, such as lamb, or mild pork sausage- I used mild Italian Sausage
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, if desired- this is my addition
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. freshly chopped basil
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese for topping (recipe also calls for Gruyere)
Lay the zucchini on a cutting board and cut in half length wise. Using a melon baller, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini leaving a shell that is about 1/4 inch thick. Salt each zucchini half and lay cut side down on some paper towels while you are preparing the filling. This is optional, but I think it made the zucchini a little more tender. Dice the trimmings and reserve.
In a large skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add onion and reserved zucchini and mushrooms, tomato and garlic and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes. Do not over cook the filling or it will be mushy. Remove pan from heat. Add the fresh herbs and about 2 1/2 T. of the dried bread crumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Brush or rub each zucchini half with olive oil, as this keeps the zucchini from drying out. Spoon the cooled filling into each zucchini boat. Sprinkle with the cheese. Top with remaining bread crumbs, if desired. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy on top. Enjoy!
Now, I think this is a main dish, whereas, my husband calls it a side dish. What do you think?



18 comments:

  1. These look so yummy! What a great idea!

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  2. It looks delicious! I usually will zucchini directly fresh or salad :)

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  3. i WISH i had an abundance of zukes. poor, poor me. :) i love your boat idea, and the filling is awesome--hooray sausage!

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  4. These are beautiful! and I'm sure they're delicious!

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  5. These really look delicious. It is such an attractive way to present a meal to guests or family.

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  6. This looks so good! What a great idea!

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  7. Hello there, I just discovered your blog today and I am suddenly STARVING :) Great blog - great recipe - I plan on returning :)

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  8. I've been trying so hard to get my husband to eat zucchini, but have not had much luck! I bet this would be the perfect way to convince him that it truly is good!!!!! I wouldn't hesitate to add the mushrooms (as you did), but there's no way he'd agree to eat them if there were mushrooms. I am so "mushroom-deprived", that I will occasionally buy an entire container for myself and just sit and eat them with dip...I LOVE mushrooms! They look absolutely fantastic!!!

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  9. I sooo need Zuchinni recipes my farmer neighbor just dropped off six of them!

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  10. Loving all these zucchini recipes out in the blogosphere! Yours look so delicious! Great blog. I'll be back!

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  11. Beautiful and sound delicious!

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  12. I don't have an abundance of zucchini, but this post & pic make me want to go buy some! Delicious looking.

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  13. What a wonderful, versatile way to use up my zucchini..that's overtaking my kitchen at the moment. :)

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  14. Definitely main dish; it's all there! I make something similar, only swap out the bread crumbs for rice as we have a wheat-allergic kiddo in the family. Very, very good! I like the addition of the mushrooms. I'll have to do that the next time. Yummm... I would love one of these right now.

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  15. Do they come out a bit chrunchy or what?

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  16. This sounds good and your beautiful photography makes it look even better.

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    1. Thankyou for your comment! This is a great meal that my husband and I both love. Hope you'll give it a try.

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  17. Great recipe! I probably doubled the amount of garlic and used about 2-3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning (vs. the basil and thyme called for). Delicious! Would definitely make again.

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