Zucchini A La Meatless

I know, that is a corny name, but just couldn’t help myself today. This past weekend we had two different sets of friends from California over for dinner as they were passing through town. It was not only imagegreat to see them, but it allowed me to cook for more than two, which just thrilled my soul. On Facebook last week, there was a recipe for stuffed zucchini, which looked and sounded so good, I had to try it. Am so glad I did. It was delicious! I do have to admit that the first night I made it, I followed the recipe pretty much to a T, and felt that it could use a little more seasoning, so the second night I made it, I added more and it was really good. So here it is:

4 zucchini, washed, dried and cut in half, vertically. With a small spoon, scoop out the middle of the pulp, being sure to leave the skin in tact. I also left the each end intact, so as to create like a boat, so the stuffing wouldn’t fall out either end.

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tea each s of the following: Italian seasoning, seasoned pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder

1 ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into 1″ size squares (or you can sometimes find the fresh mozzarella already in little balls)

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

6 teaspoons of Italian flavored breadcrumbs

Chopped fresh basil

When zucchini is washed and wiped dry, scoop out the seeds with enough of the pulp to give you room to stuff each piece. Combine the seasonings with the olive oil. Using a pastry brush, brush the seasoned olive oil in all of the insides of the zucchini. Use a teaspoon to sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 teas of the breadcrumbs into the zucchini boat. Then cutting 16 cherry tomatoes in half, place 4 halves in each boat, leaving room between them to place a piece of mozzarella in them (this will be done after the first baking, not now)k Sprinkle some of the parmesan cheese over the tomatoes.

Bake in preheated 350 oven for about 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from oven and place now the mozzarella pieces (or balls) in-between the tomato halves.

Cut fresh basil and sprinkle over the top. Place in oven and broil for 2-4 minutes until cheese is melted and is beginning to brown.

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