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Stuffed Zucchini with Toasted Walnuts & Feta



We used to have some really good friends when we were living down South and I was working at the Manor.  If you have been reading my blog for a while now you will probably remember me mentioning them.  They were two sisters called Hazel and June. They were quite a bit older than myself, being Todd's age approximately, but we were quite close the whole time I lived there.  They were my visiting teachers and we often got together outside of church when I had time off.  I remember going on a picnic with them up on Beachy Head in Eastbourne one Saturday afternoon in the summer.  We had a great time!  One of my favourite memories and two of my favourite people from when we lived down there.


They were always so kind and used to include Todd and myself in their Christmas Celebrations.  I used to invite them to ours for Thanksgiving and birthdays. One year for Christmas June gave me this cookbook.  365 Dish a Day published by Parragon Publishers. It contained a recipe for each of the days of the year and an extra one for a Leap Year.  Its a great little book, although I haven't actually cooked much out of it.  I took it out and was looking at it the other day and decided to cook a recipe from it. In my efforts to reduce my cookbook library I have been going through my books one at a time and seeing if I use them or not.  This was the recipe for the date of June 29th. I know  . . .  but I had everything in the house and I had some feta cheese leftover from the other day that I wanted and needed to use up!


I thought about June and Hazel while I was preparing this dish.  They were such wonderful gals.  I really miss them.  We did go down the first summer after we had moved up here for a visit, but then money got tight and we have never been able travel down since then.  But I still think about them a lot and we are in touch on facebook.


This recipe makes a really delicious Vegetarian Course and is very simple to make. Most stuffed Zucchini recipes will call for a meat stuffing.  I am not overly fond of minced meat mixed into other things and so the fact that there was no meat in them really appealed to me.


You blanch the zucchini first just to soften enough that you can hollow them out. I use my melon baller which makes short work of the job, but you could also use a teaspoon. You want to leave a shell all around about 1/4 of an inch in thickness.


The chopped flesh gets sauteed along with some onions and garlic, just until the onion begins to turn golden brown, and then (after cooling it for a bit) you stir it together with some soft bread crumbs, toasted walnuts and feta cheese.


It is lightly flavoured with chopped dill and salt and pepper.  Dill goes very well with feta cheese and with zucchini!  And walnuts also!  Believe it or not!


They turned out crispy tender  . . .  with a deliciously flavour filled stuffing  . . .  the tangy saltiness of the feta cheese goes perfectly with the zucchini which have one of those mild flavours that really go with everything . . .


The nutty crunch of the toasted walnuts added another depth of flavour that we both really enjoyed.  I liked that it was a non-tomato, non-meat stuffing.  I highly recommend! 


Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner

Stuffed Zucchini with Toasted Walnuts & Feta

A light vegetarian dish which is simple to make and quite delicious.  Perfect for when the zucchini glut starts in the garden. I like to use smaller zucchini to make these. Mine were each about 6 inches in length and about 3 inches in circumference.

ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 55g feta cheese, crumbled (2 ounces)
  • 25g toasted walnuts, chopped (1 ounce)
  • 55g fresh white bread crumbs (1 cup)
  • 1 medium free range egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • salt and black pepper to taste

instructions:

How to cook Stuffed Zucchini with Toasted Walnuts & Feta

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil.  Place the zucchini into the water, bring back to the boil and then cook for 3 minutes.  Drain, rinse under cold water, drain again, and set aside to cool.  
  2. Cut a thin strip off the top side of each zucchini.  Using a melon baller, and leaving a shell about 1/4 inch thick all round, scoop out the interior of each zucchini.  Chop the flesh from the insides into bits.
  3. Heat 2 TBS of the oil in a skillet.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften.  Add the zucchini flesh and cook for 5 minutes longer, at which point the onions should be golden brown.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Have ready a baking dish large enough to hold the zucchini in a single layer.
  5. Beat the egg and add to the cooked vegetables along with the bread crumbs, chopped walnuts, crumbled feta cheese, salt and pepper.  Use this mixture to stuff each zucchini and place them into the baking dish, stuffing side up. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. 
  6. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Uncover and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  Serve hot.
Created using The Recipes Generator




Just a little peek at the insides.  You could use a whole grain bread and they would have an even nuttier flavour and I think that would also add more fibre to your diet. These were crispy tender, crunchy and totally delicious! 



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Marie Rayner
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2 comments:

  1. I don't buy zucchini hardly enough.I am trying to grow some round ones this summer to stuff..to try recreating a meal in Provence..I hope to at least:)

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    1. Don't the French have lovely vegetables? I was so impressed with all of their produce when we were there! I hope your round ones grow. I can't wait to see what you do with them! xoxo

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