Jess and I must have both had zucchini on the brain (or in our gardens) this week! On Sunday as I was mentally doing some meal planning, I couldn’t actually remember the last time I cooked dinner. Yikes. That’s not to say we have not been eating well, my mother was in town for part of last week and brought with her some fantastic garden goodies, including a lumberjack-sized container of homemade tomato basil soup filled with vegetables galore – thanks, Mom!
Our lack of fresh dinner is also not to say that I haven’t been in the kitchen — moreso that I have been working on filling up the freezer to prepare for this little one’s arrival. One (especially a pregnant one) can only make so many entrees in a day before she becomes exhausted on her feet. More on the freezer meals (& recipes!) next week, but I digress –
Any way you look at it, we were well past due for a freshly cooked meal and this recipe is one of our favorite ways to serve some color for dinner. As you can tell from the photos, this recipe is a great use for a small-to-medium sized zucchini. If you are only in possession of one of those baseball-bat sized versions that appear if you’ve forgotten to check the garden for a couple of days, pull out your bread or muffin pan and savor the smells of Jess’s bread recipe.
If you are serving this for guests, the filling can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to bake. Actually, we often do this for ourselves as well, preparing the filling ahead of time and then just cooking 1 zucchini (1 half for each of us) at a time rather than cooking the entire recipe and reheating the already-cooked zucchini “boats” at a later time. We have found this to be a good stand-alone dish; however as the crab flavor is not overpowering, this also pairs quite well with roasted or grilled meats and a variety of soups.
3 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
6-8 ounces crabmeat, flaked
1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 large egg, fork beaten
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 3/4 teaspoon dried flakes)
1/2 teaspoon fresh dill (or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill)
1 teaspoon dried paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
additional swiss and/or feta cheese (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 13×9 pan.
2. Halve zucchinis lengthwise. Using melon baller or spoon, carefully scoop out zucchini pulp and set aside. Reserve shells.
3. Chop zucchini pulp. In medium-sized saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and saute 3-5 minutes. Add zucchini pulp and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
4. Arrange zucchini shells in prepared pan. Scoop above mixture into zucchini shells, pressing down with a spoon as needed to fill shells. Top with additional cheese, if desired.
5. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees, until filling bubbles and the tops appear lightly toasted. Serve immediately.