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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

From Italian Cooking and Living, June/July 2001

Ligurians stuff every manner of vegetable imaginable. The dried porcini mushrooms in the filling are a typical Ligurian ingredient, but can be omitted. Serve these vegetarian "boats" as an appetizer, or double the quantities and offer them as a first course.

  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 slices day-old bread, crusts removed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated grana padano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced marjoram
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the zucchini in half horizontally and scoop out the pulp with a spoon; chop the flesh into small dice and place it in a bowl. Soak the porcini for 30 minutes in warm water to cover; drain and mince, rinsing the porcini first to get rid of sand (strain the soaking liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve and reserve for risotto or soup). Soak the bread in the milk for 10 minutes; squeeze dry and crumble into a bowl. Add the porcini, eggs, grana, salt, pepper, garlic, and marjoram; fold in the reserved zucchini pulp and stir well to combine. Stuff the mixture into the zucchini boats; dust with the bread crumbs. Place the zucchini in a roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and bake 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 4

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The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana