By: Heather Meyer
There has always been a joke in Minnesota about people begging you to take their zucchini grown in their gardens. Some years we get more than we can work with. Sure I have had bread, fritters and use it in the place of noodles for lasagna but this is a perfect appetizer or side dish to a summer meal. The versatility of mushrooms gives it a savory punch, and boosts the nutritional value without the meat. Play with this one, and it may become a family favorite! Serves 4. Platted on Christy Wetzig Ceramics‘ plate.
- 4 medium zucchini (about 2 lbs.)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cups mushrooms from Cherry Tree House Mushrooms or Prairie Hollow, diced (any kind, your call!)
- 1/2 cup grated Shepherd’s Way Friesago cheese
- 3 Tablespoons fresh herbs, minced (I love tarragon here, but any kind will work)
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 1 cup cooked lentils (I use French lentils, but black lentils are great as well)
- 5 fresh tomatoes (about 3 cups when chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, or a grill to medium-high heat.
Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard pulp from each zucchini half, leaving a 1⁄4 rim around the edges. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook the zucchini cut side down, and cover. Cook for 2 minutes, or until they have a slight give. Do not overcook! Remove zucchini to a plate.
Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to the pan on medium heat. Add garlic and onions and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are dry. Put mushroom mixture into a bowl. Add the cooked lentils, herbs, salt, pepper, cheese and egg yolks. Mix well to combine. You can also add bread crumbs here to bind everything together if it seems too loose.
Stuff the cooked zucchini with the mixture, and place on a sheet tray with parchment paper in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the coulis. Finely chop, or place the tomatoes in a food processer with the basil, salt and any other herbs you want and pulse until still a bit chunky. Serve warm zucchini boats with the tomato-basil coulis.