Stuffed Zucchini with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

We are doing a farm share again this summer, only this time it’s a full share and we’re actually doing a semi-decent job of getting through it each week before it goes bad. Only a few casualties. It helps that we didn’t get weeks worth of greens and lettuce this year, it has been much more diverse of a vegetable selection. The past few weeks we’ve had a fair number of zucchini, and so I’ve been trying out some recipes before I take the remainder of the zucchini and puree it for my son. One recipe I’ve worked on has been zucchini cakes – kind of like a fritter – but haven’t quite gotten the right combo yet. This recipe I tried tonight was a winner though, so I am sharing it here. We stuffed the zucchini with a lamb mixture, and the sauce is a pint of cherry tomatoes (mostly yellow, with a few of the purple ones we are growing thrown in) cooked down and de-skinned:

For the Zucchini:

2-3 fat zucchini (or any sort of summer squash will work)

1 lb ground lamb (you can use pork or veal or even beef)

2 small eggs

1/3 cup breadcrumb

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1 onion, sliced thin

1 large garlic clove, sliced thin

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

salt & pepper

olive oil

For the Sauce:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 leaves of basil

salt

For the zucchini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is soft and lightly browned, stirring often. In a bowl combine the lamb, breadcrumb, cheese, thyme (just the leaves), chopped parsley, eggs, and the cooked garlic & onion mix. Add a generous pinch of salt a pinch of pepper to the mixture and make sure it is all well combined. Set aside.

Take the washed zucchini and cut in half lengthwise – try to make the halves as even as possible. Take a spoon and remove the insides of the zucchini. I just removed the softer seedy portion and left most of the flesh inside so it would make a nice secure boat for the meat. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on the inside of the hollowed out zucchini and place it onto an oiled cookie sheet. Fill each half with a generous portion of the lamb mixture.

Place the zucchini into the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the meat is well browned. If you check and the meat is not cooked through, you can cover the tray with a piece of tin foil and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes to be safe.

For the Sauce:

Take a small saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil and garlic. Brown garlic lightly, and then add the cherry tomatoes and the basil and cook down until the tomatoes are soft and the skins are easily removed. If you start it when you place the zucchini in the oven, the sauce will be done by the time the zucchini is. I remove the skins from the sauce once they are loose because I find them hard to digest (mmm..TMI!) but you can do whatever makes you happy.

To serve just spoon the sauce over the stuffed zucchini and enjoy!

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