By JAN MAIN
The abundant harvest is over flowing in supermarkets, farmer’s markets and are own gardens – be it a pot of herbs, a tiny raised bed or a “proper patch.”
Certain crops really show off – beans and squashes of all sorts from zucchini to pumpkins.
I was reminded of this as I looked at my small raised bed planted simply with cherry tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini and nasturtiums.
The squash, with little effort on my part, looked as if they were on steroids – a huge one had fallen over the edge of the bed too heavy to be contained. Mmm. What to do?
Fortunately for me, a friend Pam Velos, came to the rescue with her innovative stuffed zucchini recipe made specially for a birthday celebration.
Here it is revealing the abundance of the squash!
Stuff It – Zucchini
Although this recipe was designed for zucchini, other squashes, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes could be stuffed too!
The zucchini squash I used for this recipe was huge – fifteen inches long, big enough to feed eight but small zucchini or other veggies could be used in the same way for individual servings.
1 large zucchini, (the one used was 15 inches) or use smaller ones, washed, if the outside is hard peel it. If the zucchini is small, it will have a tender skin which does not need peeling.
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped (1 cup/250 mL)
1 red, yellow or orange pepper, diced
1 cup (250 mL) small summer squash (they look like yellow zucchini), diced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup (250 mL) tomato passata or fresh finely chopped tomatoes
2 tsp (10 mL) each, tarragon and Worcester sauce
1 tsp (4 mL) each, salt and basil
2 lbs (1 Kg) ground chicken or turkey
2 cups (500 mL) cooked rice
2 slices of bread
1 cup (250 mL) grated old cheddar cheese
Peel the outside skin of the zucchini if hard; if tender leave skin on. Slice zucchini horizontally in half. Scoop out large seeds and discard.
Arrange the 2 zucchini halves cut side down in a large saucepan or frying pan with ½ inch (1.2 cm) water. Bring to boil; simmer about 15 – 20 minutes just until tender. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
In same pan; drain water. Heat pan to medium high and add oil. Stir In onions, pepper, summer squash and garlic. Cook stirring 5-8 minutes just until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato, tarragon, Worcester sauce, salt and basil. Cook stirring 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.
In same pan, brown chicken and cook stirring then add cooked rice and vegetable mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes. Taste. Adjust seasonings.
Spoon into zucchini cavities evenly. Combine breadcrumbs with cheese and sprinkle generously over filling.
Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven about 30 minutes or until heated through or cover and refrigerate until ready to re-heat then bake as described. Cut each half into 3-4 even slices. Makes 6-8 servings.