What I Made: Zucchini Lasagna

The festival of zucchini continues!  This recipe is a bit of a blend: some tips from online recipes and some tried and true family lasagna recipes.  The final product, however, is definitely a winner, proven to make even zucchini haters change their tune. As always, the full recipe is below.

Start by slicing the zucchini thinly, then salt and let drain in a colander.  The idea here is to draw as much moisture out as possible to keep the lasagna from becoming watery.

ZucchLasag1
Prepare the meat.  I used ground turkey, but ground beef would work great too.

ZucchLasag2

Next add the sauce and any additional seasoning.  I added some basil, but you can get as fancy or keep it as simple as you’d like.

ZucchLasag3

Once the meat is done cooking, start the layering!  First up is half the meat mixture, followed by half of the zucchini slices, slightly overlapping.

ZucchLasag4

Next, spread the yummy ricotta and cottage cheese mixture overtop.

ZucchLasag5

Then, repeat!  Another layer of meat sauce, followed by another layer of lasagna, finally topped with slices mozzarella and shredded cheese (I used store-bought Italian Blend).

ZucchLasag7

Cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, then remove foil and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

ZucchLasag8

A practical note: My lasagna was still pretty watery and runny out of the oven, even after salting the zucchini slices.  The slicing and serving became much easier after it set up for the night in the fridge!

Continue reading

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.

StuffZucch1

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.
StuffZucch3

My tomato sauce was pretty plain, so I added some basil and onion to help out the seasonings.

StuffZucch4

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

StuffZucch5

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.
StuffZucch7

Then add the goat cheese.

StuffZucch8

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

 

Continue reading

What I Got: Week 6

This week’s basket was quite a haul.  I’ll start posting quantities so you can get a better idea of just how much this is.

week6

Back row: Blueberry jam (8 oz), blueberries (1 pint), green kale, bulls blood beets, red leaf lettuce, 8-ball zucchini (6).
Front row: Peaches (5), green bell peppers (4), heirloom tomatoes (2), bicolor sweet corn (6 ears), gold zucchini (2), and an asian cucumber (although it really looks like a regular cucumber to me, especially when compared to the bumpy, curved one I got last week).