Monday, August 6, 2012

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini

I can't help myself. It's zucchini time and for me that means another stuffed zucchini recipe. Come on -- who can deny that these little orbs weren't crying out for some stuffing? I've posted several stuffed zucchini recipes in the past - stuffed with ricotta cheese, with cheesy rice and veggies, and with ground turkey.  This time it's a bread stuffing, but one enriched with sausage - really good sausage, from a nearby organic farm called "Simply Grazin." Their products are also sold at Whole Foods, at least in this part of New Jersey.
 If you're not growing your own round zucchini, or can't find them in the market, the long variety of zucchini will do just as well. I can't resist this adorable variety however, so I make sure to plant them in the garden each year.
Score the inside with a sharp knife, then scoop out the interior, leaving a small perimeter of flesh. A grapefruit spoon works well here, but try not to pierce the outer skin.
 Boil the zucchini for about five minutes, then drain.
Make the stuffing using some sturdy Italian or French bread, cooked sausage, peppers, onions and seasonings -- plus eggs and some parmesan cheese. You could add other ingredients to suit your taste, or what's in your fridge, like mushrooms or mozzarella cheese.
Season the interior of the zucchini well before putting the stuffing inside. Smear a little olive oil in an ovenproof casserole, place the zucchini inside and bake at 350 for about 1/2 hour.
 Keep an eye on it because the top may brown a little too much -- in which case you'll want to cover with a bit of aluminum foil. Bake for 1/2 hour or longer, until cooked through.
Another alternative is to slice the zucchini in half and stuff each half. The presentation isn't as dramatic as having the whole globes with stuffing peeping out the top, but it does make for a bit more even cooking. Plus a whole stuffed zucchini can be a lot for small appetites to finish at one sitting. Make sure you season the zucchini well with salt and pepper before stuffing them.
In this case, I topped the stuffed halves with grated parmesan cheese, and I placed them in a casserole where I had started roasting some grape tomatoes from the garden. Place the casserole in the oven at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour or longer, until the tomatoes have had a chance to caramelize and the bread stuffing is cooked through.
Who wouldn't want to sit down to dinner with this as the main event?

Stuffed Zucchini with sausage
Printable Recipe Here

4 zucchini, round or long

Cut out inside of zucchini and save for another recipe (like chocolate zucchini cake or zucchini cheese scones). Boil the zucchini halves in water for about five minutes. Drain. Season the inside of the zucchini, then stuff.

stuffing:
1 lb. sausage
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 large onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
2 cups bread cubes (sturdy, day old is best)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup parsley
salt, pepper

Take the casing off the sausage. Fry the sausage in a little bit of oil, breaking it up in the pan with a wooden spoon until it's cooked through. Drain and remove sausage from pan. Set it aside. Saute the red pepper and onion in a couple of tablespoons of oil until softened. Drain. Mix the sausage, peppers and onions with the bread cubes and the rest of the ingredients until well combined. This is enough stuffing for at least four round or long zucchini.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1/2 hour or until the top is well browned.
Roast with small grape tomatoes, if available.
If you have extra stuffing, just place the stuffing in a small ovenproof cup that's been greased. Bake along with the zucchini or save for another time.
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18 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Scrumptious! I've always loved stuffed vegetables.

Cheers,

Rosa

Chiara Giglio said...

tempo fa avevo riempito le zucchine tonde con la pasta(farfalle)ma questa tua versione mi piace molto! Buona settimana Linda!

Proud Italian Cook said...

My zucchini is producing everyday, I'm stopping by my Italian deli for some good sausage today, I want to make this!

Stacey Snacks said...

I stuffed zucchini this weekend w/ the leftover tian.....I like these little round zukes....and Henry loves that sausage stuffing!

paninigirl said...

All I can say is "yum"!

Mary said...

These really sound wonderful. I love the abundance of vegetables that summer brings. I imagine these are truly delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

black eyed susans kitchen said...

The round zucchini make this dish so special! I made these (with the regular long zukes) last week, but added a bechamel/parmesan topping...so good!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This looks so delicious! I love a good sausage/bread stuffing combination. Your round zucchini are adorable! :)

Claudia said...

Yes, I would love to sit down for this for dinner. And yes, I will make a more timely effort to order the globe zucchini from Seeds from Italy!

Roz said...

Linda, before i read further down into your post, I thought that I was seeing things (Round zucchini?). I must get to Whole Foods and see if I can find some. What a perfect 'platform' to stuff!!! I've always stuffed the linear variety. These givee such a great presentation! August always heralds stuffed zucchini to me too! And I've got to try this recipe!

Lori Lynn said...

I bought these 8 ball zucchinis from Whole Foods a couple weeks ago, unfortunately, I sliced them! I definitely need to get more to stuff, they are adorable stuffed, and sound positively delicious too!
LL
P.S. I received my chitarra. What a neat piece of equipment. I am really impressed with the weight and quality. Simply cannot wait to make pasta! Grazie Linda!!

Eha said...

Can't live without zucchini: don't even know why, just love them and can always think of new ways to cook! Loved these stuffed ones - they taste wonderful on the palate! I suppose my fave recipe is a vegetarisn one actually of a stuffed rice/zucchini/cheese baked to perfection in the oven!

Frank said...

I can't get enough of stuffed zucchini, either! But I have yet to find round zucchini where I live. Such a shame, they look so cool and they're perfect for stuffing!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I saw some of these little zucchinis at the farmers' market last Saturday but didn't buy them. They are on my list this week along with some spicy sausage for the filling. This will be a welcome change from my usual rice and ground beef stuffing.

tasteofbeirut said...

We stuff zucchinis here too, so much so that they come already cored in the supermarkets! Love this version too, which reminds me of the ones they make in Nice.

edvige said...

Zucchini wonderful recipes ciaoooo

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love those ball-shaped zucchini! They are so adorable and do beg to be stuffed. Delicious filling for them.

AdriBarr said...

Ooh Linda, what a great summer recipe. And those zucchini orbs are beyond cool. Love the whole article. Brava!