Somehow we ended up with two more zucchini that are close to the size of baseball bats. I started hunting around for recipes to make stuffed zucchini and only found ones for wee little boats…like using 6-8 weenie zucchinis. I didn’t have time to wait around for rice and bake my barges so I decided to take a healthy and large twist to the stuffed boat recipes by using quinoa. I also did something I almost never do, I seeded tomatoes. Most of the time I don’t like to seed or peel things like potatoes, carrots or cucumbers. I figure they grew with those skins/seeds and they are edible so why not just keep the nutrient content high and my prep time low. I was afraid this recipe might end up too juicy so thus I broke down and seeded the tomatoes. Here is what was in my mix: zucchini, quinoa, peppers, onion, mushrooms, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan, and eggs.
1. Chop the ends off your mammoth zucchini and cut in half. Take an inch or two of the large seeded area out of the middle of each half and discard. Scrape innards down to about 1/4 – 1/2 inch of zucchini rind. Chop up those innards. Bake the rinds in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes while your quinoa cooks. 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water simmered for 15-20 minutes.
2. Saute onion for about 4 minutes and add green pepper, mushrooms and banana pepper with a little salt. Stir until softened then add innards and red pepper flakes. Marash pepper flakes are my favorite. http://www.zingermans.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=P-MAR After 10 minutes total, toss in 3 seeded tomatoes and stir for another minute or two.
3. Cool quinoa and saute and mix about 1 cup of quinoa* w/ saute, 1 cup mozzarella and 2 eggs. Stuff the rinds with the mixture to end up with lovely barges. Sprinkle extra mozzarella and Parmesan on top. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until golden on top.
*Extra quinoa can be saved for another use.
Cut off a wedge of your barge and dig in!