The round zucchinis looked so inviting, sitting on the supermarket shelf, just begging for me to take them home and cook them with a comforting filling.
So, that’s just what I did.
The quinoa filling is a variation on a wonderful Iraqi red rice recipe, rice with grated carrots, tomato sauce and raisins. This rice recipe is one of my favorites, and apparently it works very well with quinoa as well.
I couldn’t stop eating the quinoa, with or without zucchini.
Ah, the stuffed zucchinis before they entered the oven. Don’t they look cute?
– 7-8 medium round zucchinis (I used five and had leftover quinoa filling, which was also delicious on its own.)
– 1 cup quinoa (once again I used my organic tricolor quinoa, yummy, I finished the bag and I’ll have to go buy new one for the next time.)
– 2 cups water
– 1 can of crushed tomatoes (or you may use 2-3 chopped fresh tomatoes and tomato paste for thickening.)
– 1 onion, minced
– 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
– A handful of golden raisins
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper
– Condiments, you may add to the quinoa paprika, turmeric etc. to your liking.
– Wash the round zucchinis (here they’re posing for the photo:)
– Empty their content, I find this is most easily done with an ice cream scoop. Leave about 1/2 cm from the edges, not too thick, but thick enough for them to keep their nice round shape.
– Sprinkle the empty zucchinis with salt and pepper from the inside and place them upside down on a paper towel to drain.
– As for the zucchini flesh, chop it up or grate it. I have a few suggestions as to what to do with it, you may add it to the quinoa filling (cook it together with the rest of the ingredients), or if you wish to use them for something else, see my suggestions below.
Now for the quinoa:
– Wash the quinoa.
– In a cooking pan, saute the onion and the garlic in olive oil, and add in the crushed tomatoes and the condiments. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
– Then add in the quinoa and cook for 15 min.
– While the quinoa is cooking, spray a small dash of olive oil into a frying pan and toss in the raisins. The raisins will become puffy and brown and a nice caramel scent will fill your kitchen. Toss them in the pan only for a short couple of minutes and take them off the heat before they burn (which will happen quickly.)
– When the quinoa is done, add in the raisins and mix well.
– Now for the stuffing.
– Your quinoa:
– Goes into these zucchini shells:
– And ta-da, ready for the oven. You can fill them all the way up, really stuff them good.
– Put the tops on:
– And cook in the oven on 180 deg Celsius for about 1 hour. Yeah, it does take them a long time to cook, but it’s worth the waiting.
The zucchinis are ready when they begin to soften a bit but are still firm.
– Take out of the oven and serve with yogurt and fresh mint leaves.
If you chose to keep the zucchinis content and do something else with it, here are a few interesting options for you:
1. I made a Zucchini Cake , the recipe is from David’s site, I heartily recommend it, simple and tasty.
2. My mom sautes chopped onions with grated zucchinis and we eat it on bread with feta cheese, it’s delicious.
3. You can make zucchini latkes, from Smitten Kitchen, which is great since Hanukkah is coming up.
4. I searched the blogs for other yummy-looking zucchini recipes for you, and here’s what I came up with:
Zucchini risotto recipe from Earth Outlet by Petalfuzz
Deconstructed Zucchini Lasagna, from Casserole Crazy
or Zucchini with tomatoes, from I Believe in Butter,
or Zucchini-yogurt salad, from Almost Turkish Recipes,
or Zucchini Soup, from Seed to Spoon,
or even a Zucchini Pudding, from Breadcrumbed.
The weekend is coming up, with all these recipes, I’ll might just have to buy more zucchinis…