Cheese and almond stuffed zucchini

Lest you think we only eat bread or cake around here, I wanted to share an actual dinner, with vegetables, even!  In fact, it’s from a venerable vegetarian cookbook, New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant.  The edition in our kitchen isn’t looking so new, my husband having brought it to the marriage 10 years ago, and who knows how long he had it before that.  It could use a little tape around the binding these days, which just goes to show how much we use it.  Some recipes are classics, and we wouldn’t think of using any other version:  Hummus with Tahini, Country-style Moussaka, Spicy Szechuan Noodles, Mississippi Mud Cake, Tart Lemon Tart…and these delicious zucchini boats.  Granted, they are not yet a hit with the small people (though one said the filling was good), but I am happy to eat the leftovers for lunch.

3 medium zucchinis
2 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
6 oz. cream cheese (I used low-fat)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 cups grated cheese (the original calls for Swiss; I used sharp cheddar)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, or 1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. allspice

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides with a spoon.  Save the pulp and chop it.  Saute the onions in the oil until soft; add the salt and zucchini pulp and continue to cook until zucchini is soft.  Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese until it melts.

Meanwhile, mix together the almonds, bread crumbs, grated cheese and spices.  When the cream cheese has melted, combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Fill the zucchini shells and place them in a greased 9″x13″ baking dish.  Add a little water to the bottom of the pan (about 1/4″ deep).  Tightly cover the pan with foil and bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the filling has browned a little.

This is the perfect make-ahead recipe; it reheats beautifully.  I haven’t tried freezing it, but I think it would do well.  I am trying to think of other vegetables that could get this kind of cheese filling…obviously yellow squash, but what else?  Leave a comment with your ideas!

Perfect leftovers for lunch

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