zucchini

zucchini boats

Yields4 Servings

ingredients
 4 small zucchini or yellow summer squash
 1 tbsp olive oil
 ½ small onion, cut into small dice
 1 large tomato, seeded and cut into small dice
 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
 1.50 cups cooked brown rice or other whole grain
 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil)
 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
 salt + pepper to taste

method
1

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then use a spoon or melon baller to scoop the centers into a bowl. Salt the cut sides of the zucchini and set them upside down on a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the filling. (This will draw out some of the juices, which can sometimes be bitter.)

3

Chop the pulp you scooped out into small pieces and set aside.

4

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil just until it shimmers.

5

Add the diced onion, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned.

6

Add the zucchini pulp and diced tomato and cook until soft.

7

Add garlic, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant.

8

Add the rice and herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

9

Turn the squash cut side up, and gently wipe out any liquid.

10

Fill the cavity of each squash half with the rice mixture, and place each "boat," filling side up, on the parchment-lined sheet pan.

11

Bake until a knife easily pierces through the squash, approximately 20–30 minutes.

do ahead
12

The zucchini can be cut in half and the filling made up to 48 hours before using. Cool the filling and keep everything in the fridge, tightly covered.

13

You can assemble the boats up to 24 hours before baking.

variations
14

Vary the grain that you use—any cooked whole grain will work!

15

Vary the vegetables you add to the filling—it's good to keep the onions and garlic in there, and you can add bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach or other dark leafy greens.... It's a good idea to cook any raw vegetables with the onion—or use any cooked leftover veggies you have and add them with the grain.

16

Vary the herbs you use—dill, oregano, parsely, cilantro, tarragon—depending on the flavors you like or the ethnic cuisine you are familiar with. You can add some spices as well—cumin, coriander, ground chili....

17

Bake the zucchini in a little bit of marinara sauce instead of on parchment.

18

Add something crunchy to the filling (nuts? seeds?) or to the top of the boats (bread or cracker crumbs tossed with a little olive oil?)

19

Add some cheese to the filling or on top.

20

For omnivores: reduce rice to 1 cup; add 1 cup of your choice of ground meat to the onions and sauté until cooked through.

21

Try out different veggies to stuff: portobello mushroom caps, large tomatoes, onions, and even cabbage will work—the cooking time will need to be adjusted.

Ingredients

ingredients
 4 small zucchini or yellow summer squash
 1 tbsp olive oil
 ½ small onion, cut into small dice
 1 large tomato, seeded and cut into small dice
 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
 1.50 cups cooked brown rice or other whole grain
 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil)
 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
 salt + pepper to taste

Directions

method
1

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then use a spoon or melon baller to scoop the centers into a bowl. Salt the cut sides of the zucchini and set them upside down on a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the filling. (This will draw out some of the juices, which can sometimes be bitter.)

3

Chop the pulp you scooped out into small pieces and set aside.

4

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil just until it shimmers.

5

Add the diced onion, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned.

6

Add the zucchini pulp and diced tomato and cook until soft.

7

Add garlic, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant.

8

Add the rice and herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

9

Turn the squash cut side up, and gently wipe out any liquid.

10

Fill the cavity of each squash half with the rice mixture, and place each "boat," filling side up, on the parchment-lined sheet pan.

11

Bake until a knife easily pierces through the squash, approximately 20–30 minutes.

do ahead
12

The zucchini can be cut in half and the filling made up to 48 hours before using. Cool the filling and keep everything in the fridge, tightly covered.

13

You can assemble the boats up to 24 hours before baking.

variations
14

Vary the grain that you use—any cooked whole grain will work!

15

Vary the vegetables you add to the filling—it's good to keep the onions and garlic in there, and you can add bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach or other dark leafy greens.... It's a good idea to cook any raw vegetables with the onion—or use any cooked leftover veggies you have and add them with the grain.

16

Vary the herbs you use—dill, oregano, parsely, cilantro, tarragon—depending on the flavors you like or the ethnic cuisine you are familiar with. You can add some spices as well—cumin, coriander, ground chili....

17

Bake the zucchini in a little bit of marinara sauce instead of on parchment.

18

Add something crunchy to the filling (nuts? seeds?) or to the top of the boats (bread or cracker crumbs tossed with a little olive oil?)

19

Add some cheese to the filling or on top.

20

For omnivores: reduce rice to 1 cup; add 1 cup of your choice of ground meat to the onions and sauté until cooked through.

21

Try out different veggies to stuff: portobello mushroom caps, large tomatoes, onions, and even cabbage will work—the cooking time will need to be adjusted.

zucchini boats

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