All that hard work in the garden is starting to pay off. Summer dinners are in full swing and are delicious! Last night's dinner was heavenly and I only purchased one item for it (albeit by chance when I saw amazingness at the market!). We made a "stuffed" zucchini. In actuality it was more like zucchini boats but, eh, call it what you want.
When the girls and hubby went out to the garden a few days ago they came back with a gorgeous ripe zucchini from the pallet garden and a hand full of ripe red tomatoes as well. We took those, some quinoa (which we always have in the pantry) and fresh local mozzarella we got from Farmer's Market and let our tummies do the leading. Of course the quinoa was made ahead of time as is necessary, and the zucchini was halved, and seeded. This made two perfect little boats. We diced the tomatoes, again avoiding seeds in order to avoid extra acidity and unwanted moisture. The zucchini itself already carries a lot of moisture and we didn't want soggy boats. We also diced up the mozzarella ball and tossed it with the tomatoes, quinoa (we used 1/4c dry quinoa to make), olive oil, salt and pepper. Total prep time was about 30 minutes, and we worked at a leisurely pace.
We loaded the boats full of the mixture and placed them on a baking tray with parchment paper. The parchment paper makes for much easier clean up and is easily recycled and/or composted. The boats were baked at 350deg F for roughly 35 minutes. This time will vary depending on how big you zucchini is. We still wanted a little firmness to the zucchini so it could hold up the mixture and be cut easily with a knife but still keep it's form. Keep an eye on it while it's in the oven- touch it even. Don't be afraid to check on your food actively as it cooks. Nay, I encourage your activity!
When it was all done, we cut one boat into thirds and I paired it with just a little creamy polenta for the girls (For mine, I went sans polenta to stay up on my new fitness challenge with myself. But we will cover that later). The cheese was melty and delicious. The tomatoes and zucchini were so amazingly fresh, and extra yummy because we knew we had grown them ourselves! It ended up being two dinners for the girls and I because of hubby's work schedule. Aside from splurging on hand made local mozzarella, which I just couldn't pass up when I saw it on sale at market, this meal was beyond inexpensive. Certainly it was less than $1 for all the rest of the ingredients combined, parchment too.
I do so LOVE enjoying the actual fruits of our labors.
Simple City Sam