Zucchini Boats .....filled with Grape Tomatoes I am always on the lookout for delicious side dishes. This recipe found HERE caught my eye. It really caught my attention not only because it was really pretty, but because it also used zucchinis. With summer fast approaching, I am always looking for zucchini recipes... especially since I usually plant zucchini or squash in my garden. I love to use the zucchini in recipes other than zucchini bread. Grilling the zucchini has got to be one of my favorite ways to prepare it. I usually marinate the zucchini with some minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper...and maybe a squeeze of citrus juice. I'll even add some smoked paprika...that always adds incredible flavor. But this idea of stuffing the zucchini is ever so clever. Ok, I know I've stuffed zucchinis before. But not like this. This looks pretty and tastes delicious.
For this recipe, I like to use the smaller zucchini...it's just a bit more tender. Plus, it looks more presentable. The zucchini boats were really delicious...I loved the garlic with the tomato and cheese. You know, you can easily use all sorts of cheeses. Use what you have on hand and like. As I am writing this, an idea came to me...why not fill the zucchini boats with a bit of marinara sauce, some goat cheese( or any other cheese), some bread crumbs and a sprinkle of basil. Hmmm... I just might try that next time. I would probably bake the zucchini a bit before adding the marinara sauce and the cheese. Maybe it wouldn't look as pretty, but it would still taste great. I have to admit, I do like the little grape tomatoes. It makes the dish look sort of sophisticated and different.
You know, when I first saw the recipe, I looked at it briefly. I liked what I saw, but didn't pay attention to the details...like the oven temperature. I just thought it was a neat idea and knew I would try it eventually. So, when dinner time came, I decided to make it. I figured I would use my toaster oven...I had the temperature set at 450 degrees and kept checking it. I took the zucchini boats out and filled them with cheese. I then popped them back in. I was rushing to put dinner on the table( the pictures aren't the best...but you get the idea)...so, I took them out a bit sooner. I think they would have benefited from a couple of minutes more in the oven. But I have included the original oven temp...you might just want to check the original recipe :). Feel free to adjust amounts.
Well, since it is almost summer, I thought it would be nice to share this really wonderful dish with you. I will definitely be making this again... especially with garden fresh tomatoes and zucchini. Hope you enjoy....
You will need: adapted from HERE
2-3 zucchinis, cut lengthwise
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 TBS olive oil
Mozzarella cheese(or any good melting cheese), grated
bread crumbs( I used fresh)
Parmesan cheese, grated
basil( I used dried , but it would be best with fresh), julienned
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350( I used my toaster oven at 450). Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. You might want to cut a bit off the bottom of the zucchini so that it lays flat. Scoop out the seeds.
Make a mixture of olive oil and crushed garlic...about 1 garlic clove and+ 1 TBS olive oil( for 4-6 zucchini halves). Reserve a bit of the olive oil for later. Brush the inside of the zucchini with the olive oil and garlic.Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper.
Cut grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and place inside of the zucchini. Sprinkle some bread crumbs( I used fresh). Drizzle some of the reserved olive oil over the tomatoes and bread crumbs.
Bake in a preheated 350 deg oven for 30 minutes ( I used my toaster oven at 450 for about 15 minutes or until the zucchini had somewhat softened. Remove from oven and add cheese in between the tomatoes.
Broil for a couple of minutes or so...or until golden and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh basil. I didn't have any and had to use the dried( which I added with the bread crumbs). Top with a bit of Parmesan. I just added the Parmesan with the mozzarella cheese before broiling. You can sprinkle a bit more Parmesan cheese before serving.