Monday, August 20, 2007

Stuffed Zucchini

Despite a drought, the zucchini harvest has been plentiful. One day when global warming or terrorism or sheer stupidity kills us all, there will still be two living things: zucchini and cockroaches.

We belong to an amazing CSA called From the Ground Up located at Clagett Farm. It's a partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Capital Area Food Bank, so not only do they supply us with wonderful fresh vegetables, they do it in a socially and environmentally responsible way. This weeks harvest was large...zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, poblano peppers, tomatoes, lipstick peppers, garlic, and other vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

This is a simple, standard preparation for zucchini from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Laurel's Kitchen. When I became a vegetarian as a teenager in the late 80's this was the only approachable vegetarian cookbook in our library, which had a handful of old hippie cookbooks.

This recipe isn't quite as outstanding as the authors say it is, but it is good and simple. I adapted the recipe by substituting tomatoes for the celery mostly because I don't like celery, but also because tomatoes sounded right in this recipe and we had lots of nice ones from the CSA. I also added a little cheese on top because cheese makes everything better. Finally, I made this in the toaster oven because it is fairly warm outside and we aren't running the air conditioner.

Greek Stuffed Zucchini
Adapted from "Laurel's Kitchen Recipes"

10 6" zucchini
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup boiling water 1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, anything that you have fresh)
1 cup bread crumbs
3 lemons
2 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the zucchini in half and hollow it out. Chop the insides to use later. Cook rice with water, onion, salt, pepper, and oil for 25 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and tomato and cook for 5 minutes.

Add herbs, bread crumbs, juice from 2 lemons, and slightly beaten egg whites. Fill the scooped out zucchini with the mixture. Arrange zucchini in a baking dish. Cover and bake for 40 minutes.

Beat the egg yolks and juice from one lemon. Add some of the juice from the baking dish slowly to the egg mixture. Pour this sauce over the zucchini. Grate a small amount of any hard cheese over the zucchini. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

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