Spring is coming soon, so let’s start thinking about the best fruit and vegetables that this season offers us. One example is zucchini, rich in water, vitamins (E, C and folic acid), fiber and potassium, a perfect partner to help you lose weight and remove toxins (for a couple of very light recipes, see Zucchini spaghetti with prawns and Zucchini spaghetti with pesto).
Plain zucchini has a pretty bland taste, so stuffed zucchini is an excellent solution for transforming this simple vegetable into a tasty dish, suitable for any occasion. There are many regional versions of stuffed zucchini, with variations including different ingredients such as ground meat, cheese or mortadella. My recipe comes from Liguria, and it is prepared with tuna, capers, pine nuts and is flavored with pepper and parsley. Stuffed zucchini is a typical example of how a few simple ingredients can become a main course or a delicious and tasty appetizer.
ZUCCHINE RIPIENE ALLA LIGURE (STUFFED ZUCCHINI LIGURIAN STYLE)
Preparation time: 40 minutes Baking time: 10-12 minutes Servings: 4
4-5 zucchini about 700 g (25 oz)
40 g (1.5 oz) stale bread, cut into cubes
60 ml (¼ cup) milk
2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
50 g (2 oz) onion, cleaned and finely chopped
250 g (9 oz) canned tuna, drained
40 g (1.5 oz) capers
28 g (1 oz) pine nuts
50 g (½ cup) grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium eggs, beaten
60 g (2 oz) bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Wash the zucchini under cold running water but do not cut off the ends
2. Bring plenty of water to boil, put in the zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes until slightly tender. Drain and cool in ice-cold water to preserve the color. Remove and cut off the ends. Then cut each zucchini lengthwise in half. Using a teaspoon, gently scoop out the flesh taking care not to break the skin. Set the flesh and zucchini aside
3. Soak the stale bread in the milk
4. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, saute the onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Set aside
5. In a mixer blend together the capers, the pine nuts, the tuna, the onion and the bread soaked in the milk. Then add the zucchini flesh and mix again for just a few seconds.
6. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
7. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the Parmesan, the eggs, the bread crumbs, the parsley and pepper. Mix with a spatula to obtain a uniform blend of all the ingredients
8. Fill each half zucchini with the filling. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with a some olive oil and place the zucchini on it, skin-side down
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve warm. – Paola
What a lovely recipe, lighter than the meat filling but I’d wager every bit as tasty.
Thanks Frank! Yes it is lighter than the meat filling. I usually serve it as an appertizer! Have a great week
deliziose e allo stesso tempo delicate, le zucchine sono così versatili !
Grazie Chiara, hai pienamente ragione le possiamo cucinare in tantissimi modi….persino nei dolci. Buona settimana