What I Made: Stuffed Eight Ball Zucchini

While I do appreciate cooking one dish and having leftovers to last the whole week, there’s something to be said about a singe-serve recipe. I especially like being able to try out a new recipe in a limited portion. When there’s no way to know what might come back in the CSA box from week to week, it leaves me more chances to try different ways of using an ingredient.

Of course, I’ve had zucchini plenty of different ways, but I’d never had the eight ball zucchini variety. It’s a round zucchini (thus the name) with smooth dark green skin. According to my quick internet browsing, one of the recommended ways of preparing eight ball zucchini was by stuffing it and this recipe makes it easy to see why!  The flesh is smooth and soft and the round veggie makes the perfect serving vessel.  This is stuffed with tomato sauce, goat cheese and topped with an egg.  Read on for the recipe.

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The eight ball zucchini in all its rotund glory.

Cut the top off the zucchini and scoop out, reserving the insides for the filling.  I found this plenty easy with a spoon, but it is a little tough to make sure the remaining zucchini shell is close to a uniform thickness. StuffZucch2

Chop up the zucchini and add it to a pan to heat. Meanwhile, rub the zucchini shell with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes in a 375 degree over.
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My tomato sauce was pretty plain, so I added some basil and onion to help out the seasonings.

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Add 2 tablespoons of sauce (I went overboard!) and let it cook down about 15 minutes.

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This is more or less what the cooked version of the filling looks like.  Hopefully, yours is a little less runny than mine was!StuffZucch6

When the zucchini shell is easily pierced by a fork, it’s ready for stuffing.  Check multiple sides if you’re like me and didn’t scrape an even 1/4 inch all the way around.  Add the tomato sauce and zucchini filling.
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Then add the goat cheese.

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This was my attempt at topping with the egg. As you can see, I was not so successful.  The zucchini was cut unevenly at the top and also stuffed too full, so the egg slid right off!StuffZucch9

Finally got the egg on, however, most of the white ended up in the pan.  At that point, I was hungry, and it was good enough, so off to the oven it went for another 15 minutes to let the egg set.StuffZucch10

The finished product!  The egg was strangely cooked on top but the yolk was still runny underneath.  I had trouble telling when the white was set since the cheese bubbled underneath, making the egg white appear runny.  I might suggest either checking often for doneness to not overcook the yolk, or tenting your pan with foil for this last step. Should the egg have been farther down in the overfilled zucchini? I’m not sure what went wrong here.  If you try this, let me know if it worked for you!StuffZucch11

 

Eight-Ball Zucchini With Eggs, via The Kitchn

Serves 1

1 eight-ball zucchini
Olive oil
Salt
Black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
Sauce additions like onion, herbs, etc. (to taste)
1 tablespoon goat cheese
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut the stem off about 1/2 an inch from the top. Scoop out the insides of the squash, leaving a 1/4-inch thick wall on the sides and bottom. Brush the inside and outside of the squash shell with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper.

Place the squash shell on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, chop up the squash flesh and heat it in a pan with the tomato sauce and any additional seasonings, cooking until the squash is tender.

Remove the squash shell from the oven. Spoon the tomato sauce mixture into the bottom of the shell, then add the goat cheese. Crack the egg on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash stem on the baking sheet alongside the shell. Cover loosely with foil.

Return to the oven and bake until the eggs are set, about 15-20 minutes.

Add any garnishes, and place the stem on top or to the side of the squash. Serve immediately.

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