If anyone is still looking, in Quebec we have the traditional "Courgettes farcies" (Stuffed Zucchinis) which is very easy to make in a large array of declinations. My mother makes a vegetarian one, but there is so many possibilities.
Ingredients (for 2 people):
- 2 zucchini
- 1 clove of garlic (... the small ones and not the whole clove, it should give you about half a teaspoon when crushed)
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 tomato
- 1/4 to 1/3 crushed almonds, depending how much you like it (it will add a nice crunchy texture to an otherwise soft dish)
- some herbs (I suggest oregano and marjoram, but truly you put in what you feel like or what you have in your cupboards!)
- salt and pepper
- cheese ! we like to use grated medium-to-old cheddar, but nearly anything will fit -- parmesan, "American" mozzarella, emmental/gruyère, edam... I'm pretty sure goat would do nice too... try not to use something too flavourful that would drown the taste of the vegetables (blue cheese ?) or else too bland that would wash it out (ricotta ?), but otherwise any leftovers of your cheese-of-the-week should be fine.
1 - Pre-heat your oven to 300°F. Line a small dish with aluminium (or oil it if you prefer).
2- Cut your zucchinis in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and a bit of the zucchini itself (there should be about half an inch of zucchini left around the hole), so that you will have a nice space to fill later. Save what you took out, chop it in small pieces and put it in a bowl.
3 - Finely chop the garlic, onion and tomato, then add it to the zucchini seeds and mix well. Add the crushed almonds, the herbs, the pepper and a small bit of salt (if your cheese is salty enough, you won't even need it) and mix again.
4 - Lay your zucchini in the aluminium-lidded dish and fill the hole with your mix of vegetables.
5 - If the cheese you chose to use mixes well with breadcrumbs (parmesan, romano, etc.), mix it now, then lay it on top of the now-stuffed zucchinis. If you chose a cheese that will melt instead, put a thin layer of breadcrumbs on top of the zucchinis, then add enough cheese to cover it all. (The breadcrumbs are there to absorb moisture from the tomatoes so that the cooked dish won't be over mushy. You could
add some to the vegetable mix instead of laying it on top of them, it's as you feel like.)
6 - Put the dish in the oven and cook it for about 45 to 60 minutes (or pre-heat to 355°F and cook half an hour if you're in a hurry). Check it out sometimes and if the cheese melts and becomes crisp too quickly, put an aluminium sheet on top of it, that you will remove 5 minutes before the dish is done. (Then again, you could put the aluminium sheet from the beginning and when the zucchini is ready, remove it and turn your oven to "grill" for 5 minutes.)
If you did it well
, it should look like this
You can also add raw sausage meat, ground beef, finely chopped sweet pepper, olives, mushrooms, eggs... or anything else that strikes your fancy. You can even hollow it
instead of cutting it in half, or use an apple-corer to make vege-cannellonis
! Your imagination is the limit.
It's easy, it looks and tastes good and most people like it even when they don't like zucchini.
(Sorry if I mucked up the English language... if something is unclear, please tell me and I'll try to explain better!)