I left the farmer’s market with a boat-load of zucchini this weekend. Unfortunately we didn’t grow any in our garden this year, so we had to pretend we had the late summer “drowning in zucchini” problem. We tried a few things that didn’t work out, even zucchini noodles with a spiralizer (anyone tried this? it”s pretty fun!).
But luckily one recipe did turn out: this grilled, quinoa stuffed zucchini. It was one of those ideas that Alex dreams up that I’m a little skeptical about until he convinces me otherwise, and then I have to grovel that he was right…which really isn’t a bad place to be when you’re left with a tasty dinner! We’ve been enjoying the lemon and basil flavor combination lately, so he added them with red pepper, quinoa, and mozzarella cheese to make a tasty filling for grilled zucchini boats. They’re a fabulous vegetarian main to get the last out of grilling season; a fitting late summer dinner.
We’re thrilled to kick off our focus on health this month with Cook for Health September, and thought we’d start out with a healthy meatless main using local, seasonal ingredients. The zucchini and red pepper were from our local farmer’s market, and the basil from our garden.
Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini
Simple Summer Pasta with Tomatoes and Zucchini
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Crispy Pesto Baked Zucchini from Love and Lemons
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto from Two Peas and Their Pod
Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie from Pinch of Yum
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Edible Perspective
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 shallot
- ¼ cup basil leaves, loosely packed
- ⅔ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 lemon
- 4 medium zucchini
- Olive oil
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat a grill to medium high. (Alternatively, you can bake at 425°F covered with foil for 15 minutes, then uncovered for 5 minutes.)
- Place 1 cup quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot, and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit covered to steam for about 5 minutes.
- Finely dice 1 red pepper, mince 1 shallot, and chop ¼ cup basil leaves.
- When the quinoa is done, mix the vegetables above with the quinoa, ⅔ cups mozzarella, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and the zest of 1 lemon.
- Cut off the ends of 4 zucchini, then cut them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the fleshy centers. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil and grill cut-side down for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the zucchini from the grill and and sprinkle with kosher salt. Spoon in the quinoa stuffing, then top with grated Parmesan cheese (or Mozzarella cheese). Grill indirectly on a medium high grill for 8-10 minutes until tender.