We've made this recipe twice this summer, and it's quite tasty. Served with a simple green salad and a piece of grilled chicken or shrimp, it's decadent-tasting, but not too bad for you! The recipe is inspired by a recipe in Paul Gayler's A Passion for Vegetables, but definitely changed to reflect what was in our refridgerator at the time. Plus, we cut back significantly on usage of cheese and olive oil in order to slim it down a bit. One of Mr. Gayler's tips is that this stuffing would be wonderful in other vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplants, or used as a ravioli stuffing. I would certainly try this, but I'd probably add in even more vegetables, like carrots and mushrooms. The sauce in this recipe is a reduction of sorts. The balsamic vinegar, diced tomatoes, and fresh basil all infuse one another with flavor. Combined with the other fresh herbs and goat cheese, this is quite a flavorful and rich dish.
Recipe: Goat Cheese-Stuffed ZucchiniServes 2-4 as a side dish
For the stuffing:
- 1 medium-large zucchini
- 1/2 small sweet pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp each of chopped, fresh oregano and thyme
- 1 1/2 tbsp goat cheese
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs (we purchased fresh, un-seasoned breadcrumbs)
For the Sauce:
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 6 basil leaves, julienned (roll up the leaves and thinly slice across, to form skinny strips)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Core zucchini and save the flesh. (If you wanted to cut the zucchini in half, go ahead. Otherwise, you can cook it whole and then slice it up later). Heat up a drizzle of olive oil in a shallow frying pan and add garlic, warming until soft. Add onions, peppers, and zucchini flesh. Heat and stir frequently, until vegetables are soft, but no longer runny, approx 10 minutes. Add vegetables, herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs into a bowl and combine.
Heat oven to broil. Stuff zucchini with cheese mixture and place on broil pan. Brush with olive oil and broil approx 15 minutes, turning frequently, until skin is slightly charred and zucchini is tender.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in frying pan and add garlic, cooking until soft. Add tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar, and very gently simmer, approx 5 minutes.
Remove zucchini from oven and place on dish. (At this point, I sliced mine in 1/2 inch rounds, but serve it however you'd like!) Spoon sauce over top and serve.