As much as I don’t want it to, the end of the Summer is here. Long lazy mornings have been replaced by 6:30AM wake up calls and a race to the door before the bus gets here. Late nights watching our favorite shows or movies have been over by showers and early bedtimes. Getting back on schedule is never fun or easy, but it is something we have to prepare for nonetheless. Lucky for us, our kids are still at an age where they love going to school and they look forward to seeing all of their friends and teachers. I hope they hang on to that for as long as possible.
So, prepping for the Return of Routine includes a few things; a transition back to an 9PM bedtime, a ritual cleaning of the closets, and an anticipatory stocking of the freezer. If weeknights are busy during the Summer then you can bet your Aunt Fanny’s underwear school nights are going to be nuts! Being able to yank something out of the freezer and throw it in the oven while you run around like a headless chicken wondering why you are baffled by school homework will be a blessing.
I don’t often recommend freezing anything in the squash family, but this recipe holds up pretty well in the freezer. This is a vegetarian version but feel free to add in cooked ground turkey or sausage to the filling for a little protein.
Baked Italian Stuffed Zucchini
- 8 medium zucchini
- 2 medium onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch of parsley stems removed
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 c. cooked leafy greens i.e. spinach, Swiss chard, or kale
- 2 t. Italian seasoning
- ½ c. grated Parmesan
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2/3 c. breadcrumbs
- 1 t. salt
- ½ t. pepper
- Scrub the zucchini then cook in boiling water, whole, for 5 minutes. Remove from water and let cool. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp leaving a ¼ inch thick shell all the way around. Set on a baking sheet.
- In a food processor, chop onions, garlic and parsley until you have small chunks, but not pureed. Saute in a skillet with the olive oil over medium high heat. Meanwhile put zucchini pulp, and cooked greens in the processor and whiz up until finely chopped. Drain excess liquid and add to the skillet with the onions. Saute for 5 minutes and transfer to a large bowl. Add in Italian seasoning, breadcrumbs, eggs and cheese and mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle zucchini shells with salt and pepper and then fill each one with the stuffing.
- To freeze: place the baking sheet in the freezer until the zucchinis are frozen then wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a ziptop bag. Keeps for 2-3 months.
- To Cook: Remove from freezer and bake at 350 in a covered pan for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake for additional 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Tip: This also works great for Pattypan squash!