3 firm zucchini (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed and washed
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/4 onion, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plain, dried bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 thin slice boiled ham, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon finely grated pecorino cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus extra for the baking dish
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides with a melon baller (leaving the sides of the “boats” about 1/4 inch thick). Place the scoopings on a cutting board and coarsely chop them. Choose a baking dish large enough to hold the zucchini boats in a single layer and rub it with butter. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Set a colander in a baking dish next to the stove. Add the zucchini boats and boil 4 minutes, until they are about halfway cooked. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon to the colander and drain. Place the zucchini in a single layer in the prepared baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
For the stuffing, in a small saucepan, heat the 1½ tablespoons oil over low heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini and stir. Increase the heat to medium and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. (Turn the heat down if the mixture begins to brown.) Add the garlic, stir well, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt and V teaspoon pepper.
Add the bread crumbs and stir well. Spoon the stuffing into a medium bowl and stir in the parsley, ham, and cheeses. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork until blended. Add it to the
stuffing and stir until it’s completely incorporated. Spoon the stuffing into the zucchini shells. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, and cut the butter into small pieces to dot the mounds of stuffing. Bake until the stuffing has developed a golden crust, about 35 minutes.
Photos By: Ellen Silverman
Photo By: Ellen Silverman