The Starving Chef Recipe: Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Boats
It’s one delicious ride.

By Felicia Berger

My garden is pumping out gigantic zucchini. At three to four pounds each, they are almost bigger than my dog. 

While smaller zucchinis are preferred for cooking, these enormous zucchinis are better off used as “boats” for dishing delicious food directly into your mouth.

For step-by-step instructions with photos, click here.

Zucchini Boats

Prep time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

1 large zucchini
2 C fresh tomato, chopped
2 sweet green peppers, chopped
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 lb. ground beef
1 sweet onion, chopped
3-4 mushrooms, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
1 T thyme
1 T basil
1 T oregano
1 T butter or oil
3 T red wine (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Here’s How:
  1. Cut the zucchini down the center lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scrape out the seeds, leaving about a half- to three-quarter-inch thick bottom and sides of the zucchini. Press paper towels into the center of each zucchini to absorb any excess moisture. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the zucchini cut-side up in a glass pan and place in the oven while it preheats.
  2. In a skillet over high heat, cook the ground beef. Once cooked, rinse the beef and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean and return to the heat.
  3. Add the butter to the skillet along with the onions. Sauté until tender, then add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan and let the liquid reduce by half.
  4. Stir in the peppers and mushrooms and cook for about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the herbs.
  5. Reduce the heat and return the ground beef to the skillet. Stir in the chopped tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the mix from the heat and stir in the cubes of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Scoop the beef mixture into the centers of each zucchini boat. Return the pan to the oven and cook for about 20-30 minutes, until the zucchini is cooked through and the mozzarella is browning on top. Rest 10 minutes then cut and serve alongside your favorite pasta, as desired.

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Categories: Food & Dining