A Zucchini the Size Of…
(I’m currently kicking myself for not weighing it!)
This monstrosity came out of my Mom’s garden*. Believe it or not, she had 3 or 4 around this same size. I claimed this one for it’s size and shape, knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it.
*On a sad note, the zucchini and yellow summer squash plants in MY garden, have officially left the building. They both had an incurable case of squash bugs and frass. As I yanked them out, I shed a little tear – and will be buying my summer squash at the Farmers’ Market for the rest of the season. I was racking my brain trying to figure out WHY I’m having such a hard time with bugs this year, compared to years past. And it hit me… Like 2 cubic yards of dirt! (Remember this?). I purchased some bulk “garden grade dirt” this year, to fill up the bottoms of my raised beds. In previous years I have used exclusively potting soil and compost mixes, etc. However, with more square footage to fill this year – I cheaped out. This truckload was a steal. And I think it had a stowaway or fifty. I won’t make that mistake again.
Anyhow… here is how I did it…
In the mix:
1 giant zucchini (or several smaller ones) – cut in half, lengthwise and seeded.
minced garlic and olive oil (or Garlic Gold Crunchies in oil)– for rubbing on the zucchini prior to roasting. You could skip this step – but I think it imparts a lot of extra flavor!
Roast your zucchini in a shallow baking pan at 400* for 30 minutes, or until tender (but not falling apart!).
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used green)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 TBSP tomato paste
red wine vinegar, to taste and deglaze
1 14.5 oz. can navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 c. cooked quinoa
3 oz. Feta cheese
1/2 c. whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. olive oil (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté veggies in a little oil/spray of choice until tender. When tender add in the tomato paste, oregano, thyme and garlic powder (or use real garlic – I was out!).
Then add in the navy beans and the cooked quinoa, stir to combine and heat through.
Stuff this mixture into your zucchini boats, and top with the feta, and then the breadcrumbs (mixed with 1 tsp. evoo, if desired – I did!).
Put back into the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown and crunchy, and the feta is a little bit melted.
With the quinoa, and beans stuffed inside – this was definitely a filling meal! We served it with some boozy strawberries and a nice drink (white wine for me, whiskey for T).