Stuffed Zucchini

My new Microplane Ultra Coarse grater came in very handy when I was making this recipe. It’s not often that I find a giant zucchini on my desk at work, but Lisa brought me one of the bounties from her garden earlier this week. Zucchini bread and stuffed zucchini were both suggested by co-workers. I opted for the latter because I already had the ingredients handy; ground pork and bacon were in the fridge.

I’ve never owned a grater before–I’ve always used a vegetable peeler if I needed grated cheese when cooking and I simply shaved the cheese off. For a recipe like this, a peeler would have taken me an extra 10 minutes; it took less than one with the Microplane for me to grate all of the Piave I needed.

I realized how easy my cooking life would have been if only I’ve purchased one years ago. Without putting too much pressure on the grater, the Piave cheese I used with this recipe easily fell on the plate like soft snow. I loved the rubberized stand at the end of the grater: it kept it steady against a plate even when my cheese wedge came down to a small knob. The hefty handle also had a very firm grip–my hands didn’t even feel like they did any work.

Now I just have to find more recipes that require grating everything I can get my hands on!

1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise, each chopped in 2 or 3 large pieces
1/4 lb of ground pork
4 strips of bacon, chopped
shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 small wedge of Piave cheese
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
red chili flakes

1. Take each zucchini piece and spoon out the flesh to make them hollow like boats. Roughly chop including the seeds. Set aside. Place the boats on a lined baking sheet and brush with some olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350º.
2. Make the filling. In a large skillet, render some fat by cooking the bacon pieces. Add garlic and sauté until brown. Add the onions until soft. Add the ground pork and brown while occasionally stirring to avoid burning. Season with chili flakes.
3. In the meantime, pass the zucchini flesh through a sieve to remove excess water. You might have to do this one more time before adding to the filling. When ground pork is cooked through, add the zucchini flesh to the skillet, stir until well-combined and keep cooking for another 5 minutes.
4. Salt the zucchini boats. Spoon the filling into the zucchini boats without pressing in. Finish off with a generous sprinkling of grated Piave. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the zucchini boats have heated through and a crust has formed at the top. Best served hot so the filling doesn’t dry up.

Related post/s:
You can also stuff portobello mushrooms

Recommended tool/s:
Microplane Ultra Coarse Grater