Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eight-Ball Zucchini 'Parmesan'

These eight-ball zucchini might seriously be the cutest things I've ever seen in my life. Softball-sized and round like their namesake, I just wanted to cluck and coo to them the entire walk home from the Farmer's Market. And yes, the farmer's market is the place to find them, and they are exactly in season right now. If you're in the New York area, I have assurance from Conuco Farms (at the Union Square Greenmarket) that they should have them throughout the summer. You can also purchase them online at this great site:

To start, place a 1-oz slice of French bread in a food processor and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Slice four eight-ball zucchini (a pound and a half total) in half lengthwise, and scoop out the pulp from each, leaving a 1/4-inch thick shell. Set the pulp aside. Steam the zucchini halves for six minutes, then drain on several layers of paper towels, cut sides down.

Meanwhile, place the zucchini pulp in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside. In the same food processor, place 1/2 cup packed spinach leaves, 8 basil leaves, 2 minced garlic cloves, and one small onion, peeled and cut into quarters. Pulse until finely chopped.

Heat 3/4 tsp. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach mixture and cook for three minutes, then add the zucchini pulp, plus one cup chopped, seeded tomato, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook another 8 minutes. (Note: the original recipe called for a plum tomato, but they are still absent from the store shelves! So if you use a regular tomato instead, seed it first. If you can find an un-tainted plum tomato, don't worry about the seeding).

After 8 minutes, remove from heat and stir in your pre-made fresh breadcrumbs.

Place your zucchini halves on a baking sheet, and stuff each with just shy of a 1/4 cup of pulp mixture.

Shred 1/4 cup of 'Parmesan' (try the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods). Sprinkle evenly over all 8 of your zucchini halves. Now bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the 'cheese' melts.

This makes the most adorable side dish ever! Have 2 of the zucchini halves for 105 calories alongside the vegan entree of your choice.

French bread $1.29
eight-ball zucchini $5.00
spinach $2.50
basil $3.49
onion $0.30
tomato $1.73
'Parmesan' $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance