No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.
We had loved ones over to share an impromptu meal recently, and I needed to whip up a tasty vegetarian offering for them. This easy stuffed zucchini dish is one of my favourites, uses just a few ingredients, and it requires no skill whatsoever. Any leftovers are great eaten cold or reheated. You could also chop your leftovers up and put them through pasta or use them to stuff a baked potato or sweet potato. That’s the joy of a good dish – you can use it in a number of different ways.
Need to make this vegan? Simply swap in your favourite vegan cheese!
Love, and kitchen magic, Nicole xx
*This can serve two to four people (or even 8 as a small side), depending on the size of the Zucchini, and the appetites of the diners. It’s worth making enough that you can repurpose the leftovers.
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 can of cannellini beans (white beans)
- One jar of tomato-based pasta sauce of your choice
- A handful of chopped fresh parsley, and a few sprigs of basil (rip it with your hands) if you have it, or you could use oregano or thyme if preferred
- A handful of chopped walnuts
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- A tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/3 cup of grated pecorino or parmesan cheese (use more if you are a cheese nut – swap for vegan cheese if needed)
- 1/3 cup of your choice of fetta or mozzarella cheese (yep, use more if cheese is your passion – swap for vegan cheese if needed)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Find a suitable heat-proof serving plate that will fit your zucchini boats.
- Preheat the oven to moderate – 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit (reduce to 170 or 330 if fan forced).
- Slice the zucchinis in half length-wise. Use a teaspoon to hollow out the soft centre of the vegetable and then place them upside down on some paper towel or a clean dishcloth to drain any extra moisture.
- Drain the can of beans and add it to a large bowl. Add the walnuts, garlic, fresh herbs and olive oil. Use a potato masher or a fork to mix and squish the beans so that some of them break apart. Add the fetta or mozzarella cheese and mix through, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the tomato-based pasta sauce in the bottom of your serving dish.
- Divide the bean mixture between the zucchini boats.
- Gently place the stuffed zucchini in the serving dish.
- Sprinkle the pecorino or parmesan over the top.
- Place the zucchini in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is golden brown.
- Serve and enjoy 😊