Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I wouldn't really describe this zucchini as "stuffed"--to me, stuffing implies some substantial material, like rice or ground beef or cheese, more or less inside another foodstuff. This is just garlic and parsley, and it isn't really inside the zucchini, it's laying in a sort of trough on top. Kids, this is basically just nicely seasoned whole zucchini. I've had the recipe for a while and when I lived alone I'd usually have it as an entree (with some bread and maybe cheese it's a decent vegetarian meal), but now that I've been seduced into the Cult of Occasional Meat-Preparing, it seems more like a side dish to me. It's not even fair to blame the meat-eating, because I'd still consider this stuffed zucchini an entree. But zucchini with garlic and parsley? Big green side dish. I think I served it with some grilled chicken when I made it recently (yeah, sorry, it was a few weeks ago and my memory is fading, don't judge me). It may be inaccurately named, but it does taste great; zucchini and garlic should just get married already, they go so well together.

8 small zucchini, about 4 inches long
5 plump garlic cloves, smashed and minced
2/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the ends of the zucchini, then make a long 1/2-inch-deep and slightly angled cut into the top of each zucchini, running lengthwise from end to end. Make a second slightly angled slice 3/4 inch from the first to create a shallow cavity in the zucchini, so you're cutting out a more or less triangular wedge. Remove and discard the wedge. (This isn't an exact science; just do your best to make some kind of resting place for the parsley-garlic mixture. Most of the zucchini should still be intact, though--you're removing an eighth of it at most.)

2. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, parsley, half of the oil, and generous amounts of salt and pepper. Distribute this mixture among the prepared zucchini, packing the stuffing well into the cavities.

3. Arrange the zucchini in a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them (usually an 8x8 Pyrex dish works just fine), then drizzle them with the remaining 1/4 cup oil.

4. Bake until the zucchini are tender and stuffing is browning on top, about 15-20 minutes.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes

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