August 5, 2008

Such a Cute Vegetable

I enjoy vegetables, but I never thought I'd find one that could be called cute. When I was shopping at the farmer's market this past weekend, I found this adorable vegetable:

8 ball zucchini

This is not a green pumpkin, but rather an 8-Ball Zucchini. Having never seen these before, I wasn't sure how to prepare them. So, I did a bit of internet searching for some inspiration. The end result was a stuffed zucchini filled with rice, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and zucchini. I seasoned the mixture with Penzey's Tuscan Sunset, but if you don't have that you could use an Italian seasoning blend that you like. When I opened the oven to take out the zucchini, the aroma was mouth-watering. The combination of the seasonings and ingredients truly makes this worthy of a company side dish.

I only made 2 of the zucchini for this recipe because I want to slice the others up for grilling later in the week.

stuffed zucchini

Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini
Recipe by: Patsyk

2 Eight Ball Zucchini
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil, and rehydrated) - chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (Penzey's Tuscan Sunset works beautiful)
1 cup cooked Texmati rice (American basmati)
Panko bread crumbs - about 1/2 cup
3/4 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut each zucchini in half through the middle, not from stem to the bottom. If the stem makes it hard to stand them up, slice off enough so that it is even. Scoop out the inside of each half and cut into a small bite-size dice. Place into a glass bowl.

Combine remaining ingredients until thorougly mixed. Using a spoon fill each zucchini cup with the mixture so that it is mounded over the top.

Place zucchini's in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle Panko bread crumbs over each filled zucchini cup. Fill the dish with the remaining chicken broth.

Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden. Serve hot.

Looking for more delicious vegetable side dishes? Check out these ideas:

Stuffed Tomatoes from Equal Opportunity Kitchen
Lemon Chive Roasted Vegetables from Taste and Tell
Pancetta Sauteed Hericot Vert with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta (plus a couple more side dish ideas on this link!) from Picky Palate


Joelen said...

How cute! I've never heard of this variety of zucchini and I love how you decided to use it too. Stuffing it would have been my initial choice to take advantage of its cute shape :)

Lisa said...

They are cute. Never heard of them before but I am a fan of zucchini.

Megan said...

We call these roly-polys here
in Northern Ca. I blanch mine first before stuffing. I'm wondering if that extra step is nessesary. Looks good!

That Girl said...

Honestly, these look like the perfect stuffing vegetable

Deborah said...

What a cute zucchini! I'll have to keep my eyes open to see if I can find these, because this sounds great. (Although I'm sure I could do it in regular zucchini, but it's not as cute!)

Beth said...

I bought a yellow ball courgette from my local farmers market last week! You did something far more exciting than I did with mine

Kevin said...

What a great way to use zucchini! These sound tasty.

Jenny said...

Oh man, where can I get my own 8 ball zucchini. That is the cutest little thing. And how great does it look stuffed! Thanks for sharing Patsy!

RecipeGirl said...

Those are darling. Too cute to eat, for sure! Looks like you made good use of them :)

Marija said...

Those are so cute! I bought myself them yesterday too! Thinking of stuffing them with calamari :)

Maya said...

I found them at the farmers market too. I stuffed it with bulgur, herbs and nuts and baked it.

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