Thursday, August 23, 2012

Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

The drought this year has greatly reduced the yield of plants in our garden as well as shift the time of harvesting back a couple of weeks.

And that means that we've just been starting to get zucchini on a consistent basis. I love zucchini, but sometimes it feels like we're racking our brains to come up with ways to use the (normally) abundant vegetable.

We took inspiration from Pinterest and decided to hollow out our zucchinis as "boats," the vessel for the rest of the ingredients. An extensive expedition into our chest freezer revealed Italian sausages, leading to the discovery of our main protein for the dish.

Melissa threw in some pecans for a texture variable, and it was a good decision. The zucchini was tender but not too much so, and the bite of the pecans provided a crunch.

Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 Italian sausages, removed from casings
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup chopped pecans
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup panko
4 medium to large zucchini
Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the Italian sausages in olive oil. Then add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the green pepper and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Turn the heat down to medium low and then add the Roma tomatoes and pecans and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. When done, move sausage mixture into a medium bowl.

3. In a small pan, melt the butter and then add the panko, mixing it often to avoid burning. When done, move into a small bowl.

4. Cut the top and bottom, at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch, off of each zucchini. Cut each zucchini in half, down the middle. Spoon out the seeds in each zucchini, leaving the ends uncut to hold the sausage mixture.

5. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of sausage mixture into each zucchini boat. Top each with Parmesan and then the panko. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

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