Stuffed Zucchini Bites
Sometimes I turn to my vegan colleagues for inspiration. Always dairy free and veggie centric , vegan recipes are a great resource for the healthy- minded kosher cook. Still, nothing can stop me from adding “just one more” to my kosher cookbook collection. Now, that collection includes some gems from vegan chefs, too.
This recipe and photo were shared by Fairfield, CT chef, Hannah Kaminsky, author of Vegan a la Mode and http://bittersweetblog.com.
Stuffed Zucchini bites would make a great parave side dish or appetizer for the holidays. They are substantial enough to serve as a main dish to your vegetarian guests, too. Farm fresh zucchini are still available in the early fall, lending the opportunity to bring ingredients from the farm to your table. Just picked zucchini are noticeably sweeter!
For advanced prep, fully assemble the “bites” and bake them for about half of the time called for. At the time they’re meant to be served, they can be finished off in the oven for the remaining bake time, and then eaten while still warm.Stuffed Zucchini Bites
4 Medium Zucchinis
5 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Divided
1/2 Large Red Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Pinch Dried Thyme
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts, Toasted
2/3 Cup Cooked Canellini Beans
1/2 Cup Almond Meal
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
Salt and Pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or silpats.
Slice off the tops and bottoms of your zucchinis, and then cut them into 1 1/2-inch long segments. Stand each segment up on one of the cut sides, and use a melon baller to remove the center flesh, being careful not to dig all the way through the bottom. Reserve the flesh of two zucchinis for this recipe; the other two can go into a stir fry or something else. Arrange the hollowed-out zucchini pieces on your prepared sheets so that they’re ready to go. Set aside.
Set a medium sauté pan over moderate heat, and add in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Once hot, introduce the chopped onion to the pan, and reduce the heat slightly so that it softens and becomes translucent, but doesn’t brown. After about 4 minutes, add in the garlic, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. After another 5 – 6 minutes, incorporate the parsley, cumin, and thyme, plus the reserved flesh of two zucchinis, and cook for just 3 – 4 more minutes until the zucchini pieces are lightly browned. Remove the pan from the heat.
Transfer the contents of the sauté pan into your food processor or blender, along with the remaining oil, walnuts, beans, almond meal, and soy sauce. Pulse until the mixture is mostly blended, but still slightly chunky, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Give the stuffing a taste, and add salt and pepper as you see fit.
Spoon the stuffing into your prepared zucchini segments, and really mound it up on top; You should have plenty of stuffing, so don’t hold back. If it turns out that you still have extra when it’s all said and done, you can also just serve it along side chips as a dip, or use it later as a sandwich spread.
Give the zucchinis a light spritz all over with olive oil cooking spray, and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and the zucchinis are fork-tender.
Serves 8 – 10 as appetizers, 4 – 5 as a side dish, and perhaps 1 – 2 as a main.