Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Zucchini Invasion

What to do when hubby goes out hunting in the garden and slays a bunch of ginormous zucchinis???

At our house, the answer is simple: make Zucchini Boats, of course!

This is such a simple recipe, and it makes use of those out-of-control zukes that lurk under the zucchini leaves. Best of all, it keeps us on friendly terms with the neighbors, who tend to get a little testy when we sneak around the neighborhood at night, dropping off monster zucchinis on their doorsteps, and then running (and giggling) back home.

First, slice the zucchinis lengthwise. If they're real monsters--over 9" long--you'll probably want to whack them off at the waist, too. That will give you 4 "boats" per zucchini. Trim off a tiny bit of the blossom and stem ends.

Then use a spoon to scoop out a dugout canoe shape. This gets rid of all the large and chewy seeds. Be sure to leave a little "dam" at each end of the zucchini boat.

Here's my secret tip: Now boil the boats for about 5-6 minutes each. They should just be slightly fork-tender, slightly firm, not mushy.

(Other recipes may tell you to just put the filling into the raw boats and let the whole thing cook in the oven. No, no, no. I've tried that many times. The zucchini never really cooks, the filling gets overcooked, and the cheese evaporates. Believe me, you'll like my method better. It's worth it to get the water boiling and let the boats cook for a few minutes before adding the filling.)

Prepare your filling. I like to use browned hamburger and spaghetti sauce, with a little garlic. You could  use sausage instead, and you can add filler like rice or beans if you like. Onions would be yummy in the filling, too. Scoop the filling into the boats. (You want the filling cooked before you scoop it into the boats.)

Top it off with a little cheese, and pop it into the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

To serve, slice the boats into 3-4" chunks. This is a favorite recipe in my family! Don't believe me? Listen to some of my family members for yourself:

David: A squeaky delight with just the right amount of cheesiness, and a meat sauce that will send your taste buds to the moon!

Mark: A recipe that takes the common zucchini and places it in the category of elegant fare.

Mike: A tantalizing affair that will leave your palate wanting more.

Kat: Very delicious with a slight pizazz.
Sarah gives it a big thumbs up! "I love it!" she says, and claims that she can't wait to have more next summer.

Julia: Comfort food meets fresh garden fare. (She's still lovin' it on the third helping!)


Sarah said...

I love that! I have never heard of zucchini boats. We get a lot of zucchini too. I'm going to make that tomorrow. Thanks Kathy!

Unknown said...

This is one of our favorate here too. I don't boil the Zucchini first. I should try to boil them first and see how different they are.

David Mayer said...

You forgot to mention how many leftovers there were! We just had some for lunch yesterday, and it was still delicious!!