Sunday, August 2, 2009

Farmer's Market Find: Stuffed Round Zucchinis

There is a cute farmers market in my neighborhood every Tuesday during the summer, and my work schedule has been lax enough to allow me a couple visits in recent weeks. It's getting to be the prime of summer, and the produce options have been abundant! There are beautiful tomatoes in a rainbow of colors, tons of summer squash, and multiple varieties of stone fruit. One thing I always look out for at the farmers market is round zucchini, because they're hard to find at the regular grocery store. They are ideal to stuff with all kinds of filling, and when I saw some this past week I picked up three to fill and bake.

I'm still on a mostly vegetarian kick, so I immediately gravitated towards a grain with some kind of beans for protein. I had regular and red quinoa which I cooked on the stovetop, and in the oven I roasted some chickpeas that I'd tossed with olive oil, herbes de provence, and salt and pepper. I sauteed quartered crimini mushrooms with a little garlic, then added some sun dried tomatoes that I'd chopped up. I mixed these components together, added some dried thyme and seasoned with salt and pepper. I knew it was a good sign when I decided I could eat this quiona mix on its own!

For the zucchini I started by slicing off the tops. I cut them in half lengthwise, and used a spoon to scoop out the seeds on the inside. Once the zucchini shells were ready, I microwaved them for about 3 minutes, to soften them up. I should have seasoned them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper at this point, but didn't think of that until we were already eating. Hindsight is 20/20, right? When the zucchini were pre-cooked I filled them with the quinoa mixture, and baked them in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Pita bread and hummus rounded out this farmers market treat. Can you think of all the great combinations you could stuff inside a round zucchini? Keep an eye out for them at a farmer's market near you!

Look at this mix of cherry tomatoes I found!

I added the tomatoes to a pasta salad I'd made the night before.


Sarah said...

It's funny how often you and I are on the same wavelength in the kitchen :).

These look so good. I've been wanting to buy some of those round squash. They are really cute!

Have to say I'm jealous of the tomatoes you are getting. Late blight fungus has attacked many farms here and we aren't getting very many this year!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Great photo's and great dishes, I love those round zucchini!