By Tia Ohm
We are overflowing with zucchini in our garden, and this recipe is a definite keeper for the late summer seasons in the future. You can replace the sausage with lentils for those veggie lovers, creating a versatile delight for anyone’s appetite, or just enjoy as is.
- 2 medium zucchini (or eggplant), stems trimmed off and halved lengthwise
- 3 links sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
- 1 1/3 cups fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, chopped
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 basil leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 teaspoons grated Pecorino Romano
- Preheat oven to 400° and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Hallow out the zucchini with a knife and ice cream scooper, leaving 1/2 inch of skin for the shell, and coarsely chop the innards.
- Place zucchini boats in boiling water for 3 minutes, keeping them submerged. Remove and let dry on towel.
- Brown sausage in skillet on medium-high heat while breaking up into pieces. Add kale, pepper, onions, and garlic until onions are almost caramelized (about 2-3 minutes). Add 1 cup of the innards of zucchini and cook for about 3 more minutes. Add 1 cup tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in fresh basil and Romano cheese.
- Pour 1/3 cup tomatoes at the bottom of 9 x 12 baking dish and place zucchini boats on top. Season with salt and pepper and stuff with sausage mixture; evenly distributed between boats.
- Top with mozzarella cheese, evenly divided onto each. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender.
- Garnish with basil and serve.
Photo credit: Tia Ohm