Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Zucchini Boats

If I had planted a garden this year, I would be up to my eyeballs in zucchini right now--and just about sick of making zucchini bread. 

Zucchini boats to the rescue.

I have a fantastic recipe for these little summer delights from my Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art cookbook...but, much to my dismay, I cannot find it.  So I had to improvise.

Making these little boats is so much fun.  Hollowing out each half of the zucchini makes me feel like Sacagawea, Indian Princess, watching my handsome Indian warrior husband, Runs with Wild Animals, carve out our canoe in the moonlight by the shore of the great silent lake.  And as I see his strong muscles ripple in the silver light...  Oh, sorry.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  Recipe. 

Summer Vegetable Zucchini Boats

3 medium-sized zucchini
3 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup raw spinach
1 can (15 ounce) whole kernel corn
1/2 can creamed corn
2 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 slices mozzarella cheese, torn

Halve the zucchinis lengthwise.  Using a melon-baller (if you have it; a small spoon or sharp-edged measuring teaspoon will work as well), carve out the seeds and flesh of the zucchini, being sure not to puncture the backside.  (If you do, it's not a big deal...your filling will just leak out a bit.)  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the zucchini boats on the paper. (Perfectionist's tip:  if your boats look to be tipping one way or the other, you can trim off a thin flat strip on the bottom of the squash to make it lay flat.)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.   Add the onion pieces and saute them for about 3-5 minutes, until they are beginning to brown.  Add in the raw spinach, stirring constantly.  (It will shrink and shrivel in the heat--don't be shocked.)  Add in the whole can of corn and only half of the can of creamed corn.  Add the diced tomatoes, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes (make sure it's sizzling nicely).  Add the salt.  Give it a few more thorough stirs around the pan, add the shredded mozzarella cheese, and remove from the heat. 

Fill the boats with the corn mixture.  Tear the slices of mozzarella cheese into strips and set them on top of the stuffed boats. 

Bake the boats for 20 minutes.  Then, turn on your broiler.  Position an oven rack closest to the top heating element and broil for about 3 minutes (keep checking it so it doesn't burn). 

Grab a fork and enjoy summer's gift of good veggies.

This recipe has been approved by my pickiest gourmand.