Monday, July 27, 2009

Eight Ball Zucchini Parmesan

I've had this recipe for a long time but I never wanted to make it with 'regular' zucchini and I could never find 8-Ball zucchini (it's round, kind of like a little teardrop). Lo and behold, last week Wegmans had it as a featured produce item grown in a local farm. I immediately put this on the menu and picked some up! It was kind of exciting in a pathetic sort of way.

So. It makes good use of the food processor. But it's pretty easy and not too bad on time. I boiled some organic home-made pasta from my former boss's CSA (pasta and beans and grains last FOREVER!) and we had our 8-Balls with pasta and more french bread. Yum yum. I liked it and thought it was yummy. The fresh bread crumbs give the filling a very nice texture.


Eight Ball Zucchini Parmesan
Cooking Light, June 2005

Eight-ball zucchini is a round, softball-sized variety of summer squash. You can find it at farmers' markets, or purchase it from specialty produce purveyors such as Frieda's ( This recipe is equally delicious when made with the more commonly found long, slender zucchini squash.

1 (1-ounce) slice French bread, torn into small pieces
6 eight-ball zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup packed spinach leaves
8 basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, peeled and quartered (about 5 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped plum tomato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Set aside.

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Set pulp aside. Steam zucchini shells, covered, 6 minutes or until tender. Drain, cut sides down, on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels.

Place zucchini pulp in food processor; process until finely chopped. Spoon into a bowl. Place spinach, basil, garlic, and onion in food processor; process until finely chopped.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini pulp, tomato, and salt; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in breadcrumbs.

Fill each zucchini half with about 2 1/2 tablespoons zucchini mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

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