Crunchy End-of-Summer Zucchini

Crunchy End of Summer Zucchini #1A neighbor left two garden-fresh zucchini on our fence rail this morning. Around dinner time I thought it would be great to use the fresh zucchini and began looking for a fun and different way to utilize this end-of-the-summer staple. I decided to hollow out the zucchini so that just the shells were left. Then I filled each shell with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas. I topped this with pepper jack cheese and to make it crunchy, added a sprinkle of Grape-nuts cereal.

If you enjoy a gluten-free diet, substitute crushed Lay’s Original Potato Chips (which meet the FDA certification of gluten-free) for the Grape-nuts. If you aren’t into potato chips be sure to use something else that is crunchy for the topping. It makes all the difference in the world.

Ingredients: 2 large zucchini (halved lengthwise)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups red onion (chopped)
1 cup yellow bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
4 large plum tomatoes (seeded and cut into ½-inch chunks)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup Pepper Jack cheese (shredded)
Salt to taste
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Grape–nuts cereal (crunchy topping)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Scoop out seeds and flesh from zucchini to create 1/4-inch-thick shell. It is important to get the shells as thin as possible so that they cook thoroughly. Toss out the seeds; retain and chop flesh. Set flesh aside. Place zucchini shells on baking sheet and set them aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, chickpeas, tomatoes, thyme, and chopped zucchini. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Salt to taste and remove from heat. Set aside.

Crunchy End of Summer Zucchini #2Fill each zucchini shell with equal amounts of chickpea mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until zucchini are heated through. Remove from oven.

Stir together cheese, yogurt, and paprika in small bowl. Sprinkle ¼ of this mixture over each zucchini. Return zucchini to oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is just melted.

Crunchy end of summer zucchini #1

To serve, sprinkle with Grape-nuts for crunchiness.

About Valley Vegetarian

The fresh chef providing consistently good vegetarian comfort food recipes.
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