Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Zucchini stuffed with ricotta and manchego

OK. I am back.
Yes, I have been cooking the past couple weeks.
And now I have a few things stored up in my brain to blog about here.

First up:
Zucchini stuffed with ricotta and manchego

This was a great side dish to have with a simple grilled flank steak. It was very rich and creamy and flavorful, but still light with the ricotta.

And the next day I cut one of the stuffed zucchini pieces into slices and scrambled it with an egg and a little bit of chopped up, leftover steak. It was delicious!

Zucchini stuffed with ricotta and manchego

4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
5 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
2 medium roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3/4 cup manchego cheese, grated (pecorino or romano or parmesan will work, too.)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3 tbsp Italian or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tsp dried mint
2 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 egg yolks, beaten
salt and pepper

Using a small spoon (I like to use a grapefruit spoon), scoop out the pulp from the zucchini halves and discard. You want to scoop it out to leave a rim about 1/4 inch around the edges.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sautee pan or skillet over medium heat.

Cook garlic and onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes, or until soft.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, 1/2 cup of the manchego, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, parsley, mint, oregano and egg yolks.

Gently stir in the tomato-onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Rub inside of zucchini with remaining olive oil to coat lightly and season with salt.

Place zucchini cut side up in a shallow baking dish or on a baking sheet.

Broil on high for about 5 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and fill each zucchini half so that filling mounds a bit, but does not spill over the sides.

Mix together remaining bread crumbs and cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the filled zucchini pieces.

Cook at 400 degrees about 10-15 minutes until hot, then zap under the broiler to get the tops golden brown and crispy.

I like this picture. The cross-section shows how really yummy that filling is.

The ricotta is creamy, but fluffy; the manchego has a lovely, nutty flavors; and the herbs and tomatoes give it a nice, fresh flavor. The eggs and bread crumbs hold it all together.

I served these hot, but they can also be served at room temperature.


Samantha said...

Did you use the guts of the zucchini or just chuck it? I usually combine it into the stuffing .. this recipe looks sooo good. Might have to try it this week.

Jill said...

I did not use the zucchini pulp in the stuffing. Though I did think about it.
I was worried it would make the filling too watery.
They were great as is. But I need to figure out a use for that zucchini flesh.
Maybe I could freeze it for use later when I figure out a creamy zucchini soup.

ReesePie said...

Sounds fabulous! We'll have to try it!