It’s zucchini time!! My girlfriend Sarah and I cooked dinner last night (roasted chicken, yumm!) and this recipe was my contribution. The zucchini’s are fresh from her garden (picked literally right before we started cooking, how awesome is that!!). You really can’t tell from this pic but they were monster sized zucchini’s. They squeak in your mouth when you eat them!! No chemicals here, that’s what you get when you have garden fresh veggies! She has zucchini’s a plenty so stay tuned for more zucchini recipes. I’m going to try to post more….next week…a possible zucchini quiche.
I first learned this recipe when I took a cooking class at the Ojai Culinary School at the Lavendar Inn in Ojai, CA. I’ve tweaked it a bit because I wanted a more intense flavor (gotta love tomato paste!). So thanks to Ellen Sherwood for her wonderful teaching style and great ideas.
1 large eggplant
1 large red onion
2 large red bellpeppers
4-5 cloves of garlic
3-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. tomato paste
4 medium sized zucchini or 3 large
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 bakers half sheet
Food processor or blender
Melon baller or spoon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Dice the eggplant, onion and bell pepper. Try to keep them all the same size so they roast evenly, about 1/4-1/2 inch size pieces. Coarsely chop the garlic. Spread out the vegetables on the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Pour the olive oil over the vegetables and using your hands, mix everything together. Spread out evenly in the pan and roast in the oven for approx. 15-20 minutes. You’ll know they are done when the vegetables are very soft and are reduced to about half the amount.
In the meantime, cut your zucchini into halves and using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out the center, making a sort of trench down the center. Parboil the zucchini in a large stockpot for about 2-5 minutes, it basically depends on how firm/soft you like your zucchini and what size they are. After the vegetables are done roasting, turn down the oven temp. to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, add the veggies and tomato paste. Pulse until you get the consistency you desire. I usually prefer the filling to have some texture so I pulse it a good 5 or 6 times so that it’s relatively smooth but there are still some veggie bits when you bite into it. Scoop the filling into the zucchini, sprinke with cheese and warm in the oven until you are ready to serve.