From Market to Plate: Zucchini Boats
It's August in rural South Dakota, so ya'll know you've got plenty of zucchini from your neighbor to try this recipe! And if you don't, you can definitely grab some this week at the Burke Area Farmers Market. Don't forget to tag us in your pictures -- we want to see what's on your plate.
4 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
A pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups homemade or jarred pasta sauce
1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise.
Use a spoon to remove the inner flesh of the zucchini.
Chop the flesh and set aside.
Arrange the zucchini boats on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.
Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet.
Add the ground meat and cook, breaking up into crumbles.
Add the chopped onion and cook until tender and the meat is browned.
Add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic, zucchini flesh.
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the sauce and stir to combine.
Spoon some of the meat mixture into each zucchini boat.
Top each zucchini boat with a couple spoonfuls of the remaining sauce, then top with the mozzarella and a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Any additional meat mixture can be served on the side of the baked boats (especially with garlic bread to sop it up).(Serves 6-8.)
***Make this your own:
Use whatever ground meat is your favorite and available.
Add diced green peppers with the onions.
Add chopped fresh spinach or chard with the onions for a bigger vegetable boost.
Sprinkle with chopped basil or parsley before serving for a hit of freshness.
Additional meat mixture can be ladled over French bread (halved lengthwise), topped with cheese, and served as open-faced sandwich.