Foodie Fridays - Stuffed Zucchini

I haven't had a whole lot of luck gardening this year.  It's been a terribly wet summer and has rained off and on all week this week.  As a result of this my experimental patio garden this year has suffered.  My crookneck yellow squash has had bloom rot I believe and my tomatoes are so water logged in their containers I just don't know if they will ever make anything.  The pole beans are putting out enough that I get a good mess by the end of the week for weekend meals, but at least my raised bed out in the country is coming along.  My tomato plants are about two weeks behind where they should be, again due to rain, but my zucchini is producing nicely.

When all else fails you can at least count on the zucchini.

The only problem with this prolific vegetable is that you have to find something to do with it!  I love to fry it, roast it in the oven, and make zucchini bread, and my most recent find was stuffed zucchini.  This has bacon in it, because why not?  But you could definitely leave this out and have a great vegetarian meal or side dish.


Stuffed Zucchini

1 medium zucchini or two small with the meat scooped out.  Reserve the zucchini filling and dice
1 medium onion diced
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons of water
bread crumbs (I used cornbread crumbs)
Parmesan cheese
2 pieces of thick sliced bacon diced
A couple of leaves of fresh basil chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a nonstick pan heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil and fry the bacon until crispy and remove to drain on a paper-towel lined plate reserving as much of the oil in the pan as possible.  

To the hot pan add your onion and saute until the onion is just translucent seasoning with a pinch of salt.  To the sauteed onion add the chopped mushrooms and garlic continuing to cook until the mushrooms have cooked down and are starting to brown.   Add the reserved chopped zucchini and cook for a few minutes more.   Finally add the bacon, tomato paste, and water and stir well.  The mixture should be thick.  Taste and seasoning accordingly.  Stir in minced basil at the very last.  (This filling is darn tasty on it's own.  I think I'm going to try it served with some pasta in the very near future!)   

Take a ovenproof dish large enough to hold your zucchini and spray with a little nonstick spray.  Spoon the filling into your zucchini "canoes."  This is where the filling being thick comes in handy.  

Top with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes - time will depend on how large your zucchini is.  The zucchini should be fork tender and the topping brown and delicious.  

Serve by themselves or as a side!

I had mine with some sauteed corn and fresh caught whole fried bream.  Yum!  

And for your weekly service announcement......My computer is currently at the shop getting a new screen so I'm not able to edit pictures at the moment, but I do have a looooottttttt of older pictures that I'm going to pull out and post next week.  This will be stuff from college and right after that has not seen the light of day in (mutters and counts fingers) six years.  So get ready!

Happy Friday everyone!


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