Zucchini is a summer staple in the Northwest as much as river floats, rocky beach days, and outdoor concerts. It grows like a weed, and if you are, or know, a vegetable gardener, chances are you have an abundance of the starchy summer staple. There is a lot you can do with zucchini, from bread to stir-fries. One show-stopping zucchini entree I was eager to try, was stuffed zucchini, also known as zucchini boats.
And what is better than a stuffed zucchini? A stuffed zucchini paired with the perfect strain of cannabis and glass of wine.
This recipe is pretty simple. It requires a decent amount of effort, but none of it requires any expert-level culinary skills. As a proficient, but nowhere-near-expert home cook, I was pleased that it felt pretty foolproof. This particular version of the recipe is vegetarian but it would be easy to add meat to or replace the cheese with nutritional yeast or vegan cheese to accommodate pretty much any diet.
To keep things cool on warm summer nights, cook these on the grill!
Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
Yield: Six large zucchini boats
Prep Time: Forty-five minutes
Total Time: One hour and fifteen minutes
Three large zucchinis
One-half pound of fresh mozzarella
One jar, or large can of tomato sauce
One small to medium yellow onion diced
One cup diced crimini mushrooms
Five cloves of garlic
Diced rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut zucchinis in half, and scoop out the middle. Save the zucchini pulp, chop it up, and set aside.
- Put the zucchinis on a sheet pan, and brush them with oil. Sprinkle with some of the diced herbs and salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes until zucchini is tender, but not mushy.
- Sautee together the onion, mushrooms, and zucchini. Once the veggies are cooked, add tomato sauce and stir. Then add all the remaining herbs except basil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and stir and simmer. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Fill hollowed out zucchinis with tomato sauce mixture.
- Cut fresh mozzarella into as thin of slices as possible and place them on top of the saucy zucchinis and sprinkle with the remaining basil
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and barely light brown around the edges.
- Pull out and let cool, then enjoy!
Cannabis: Animal Cookies
The terpene profile for this flower is heavy with caryophyllene, which is found in rosemary, pepper, oregano, and basil. All of which are in this recipe. It also contains limonene, and while there aren’t any citrus flavors in this dish, the fruity acidity is a nice touch to this light, summery dish. Myrcene is another terpene found in Animal Cookies, which is also found in thyme and basil, making the aromatic blend of herbs and cannabis a perfect fit, and really elevating the meal. For the best effect, consume this flower at least twenty minutes before eating.
Wine Pairing: Rosé of Syrah
A bold rosé such as this is a perfect match for this dish and this strain. Rosé is a perfect summer wine, light yet complex, and best served a little cold. With peppery notes, this will make a perfect companion to your zucchini boats and animal cookies.
This dish is visually appealing and can be served as a side or a main dish. I served mine with grilled herb chicken thighs and sauteed kale. A little lemon on the kale made it an absolutely perfect pairing. But you can get creative and serve it with any number of sides or mains. Any meat grilled with herbs, or summer veggie medley or salad served with a squeeze of lemon will be a fantastic companion. As long as you keep the flavor profiles in mind, any meal you prepare is bound to shine with this lovely stuffed zucchini alongside it.