Sunday, November 29, 2009

Zuccanoes

I found this recipe in a cookbook I received for my birthday from my wonderful Aunt Cathy and Uncle Mario. It's called The New Moosewood Cookbook. I highly recommend it. Any way, zucchini were on sale last week and I decided to give them a try. I've made them twice now, so here is my adapted recipe.

Zuccanoes:
  • 4 medium sized zucchini (about 2 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound of mushrooms, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown)
  • 1 1/2 cups minced pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Black pepper and cayenne (or hot sauce), to taste
  • A few pinches of freshly minced and dried herbs (parsley, basil, dill, thyme, etc.)
  • 1 cup grated cheese, swiss, cheddar, mozzarella, etc.
  • Dash of salt
Cut the zucchini lengthwise down the middle. Use a smallish spoon to scoop out the insides, leaving a canoe with a 1/4 inch shell. Mince the insides, set aside. Heat the oil in a medium sized skillet. Add the onion and saute until the onion is soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the minced zucchini and the mushrooms. Add the dash of salt. Turn up the heat and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring, until the liquid evaporates. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat. Stir in the rice, nuts, and lemon juice. Season to taste with black pepper, cayenne, and herbs. Preheat oven to 350. Fill the zucchini shells, top with cheese, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Some tips:
  • The recipes makes a lot of filling, I had leftovers both times I made it. However, the filling is delicious on it's own.
  • I used pistachios because it's the only nut I like, but feel free to use almonds, pecans, or the nut of your choice.
  • This dish seems to be a "chop and drop" dish. Add whatever vegetables you have on hand. I've added black beans and diced tomatoes and they were both delicious additions.
  • If you leave off the cheese, this is a wonderful vegan dish.
  • If you are not vegan, tossing extra cheese in the filling is super tasty.

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