Last night at a lovely dinner party, I was lucky enough to receive a few free vegetables from the garden. Two cucumbers and an eight ball zucchini. Just like the name describes, it's round like an 8 ball, instead of long and skinny. I knew immediately what I would do with it. Stuff it.
On my way to work this morning, I was thinking about what ingredients to stuff inside it. I didn't soak any beans, so I would have to go with some sort of grain. I decided on brown rice instead of quinoa and chopped walnuts instead of almonds.
When I got home from work, I started cooking the rice. A little later, I cut the top off the zucchini and scooped out the flesh. I put the insides into a bowl and set aside. I diced up ginger, garlic, shallots while the zucchini was steaming (5 to 8 minutes). When the rice was done, I removed from heat and sauteed the ginger, garlic, shallots in a splash of olive oil. I tossed the rice back into the pan along with the chopped walnuts and (a little) zucchini flesh. I turned off the heat, tossed the rice mixture with lemon juice & basil. Then I stuffed the zucchini with the rice and tossed in the preheated oven. It cooked for almost 20 minutes. I drizzled with olive oil, a splash of fresh lemon juice and salt & pepper.
I used a spoon and scraped the side so I got bites of zucchini with the rice. It reminded me of my first experience with a bread bowl–the Renassiance festival in seventh grade. I loved spoonfuls of bread with the hot broccoli soup. Delicious. There's something fun about using foods as bowls, like peppers filled with veggies, cheese & beans. Squeezing another vegetable into your meal is also great for your health. Enjoy!