I loved this recipe! It is taken from Cook’s Illustrated “The Best Light Recipe”. A great tip taken from this cookbook suggests to buy firm zucchini with tiny prickly hairs around the stem end as the hairs indicate freshness. If possible, try to pick zucchini that are all the same size, with smooth bright green skin.
This recipe does take a bit of time, but it’s worth it. Leftovers are great heated up the next day too.
Salt and ground black pepper
Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, minced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out the sides and inner flesh of the zucchini until the thickness of the zucchini measures 1/4 inch.
2. Season the cut sides of the zucchini with salt and pepper and spray with vegetable oil spray. Lay the zucchini halves, cut-side down, on the baking sheet. Roast the zucchini until slightly softened and the skins are wrinkled, about 10 minutes. Remove the zucchini from the oven and flip cut-side up on the baking sheet; set aside. When cool enough to handle, dice 2 of the roasted zucchini halves into 1/4-inch pieces.
3. Meanwhile, combine the bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the bread crumbs to a small bowl and let cool slightly; when cool, stir in 6 tablespoons of the Parmesan.
4. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon more oil to the skillet. Cover, return to medium heat, and cook until the onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 5 teaspoons garlic and the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, until the tomato juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
5. Stir the corn, diced zucchini, 2 tablespoons of the toasted bread crumbs, remaining 2 teaspoons oil, basil, and remaining 10 tablespoons Parmesan into the cooked tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture evenly between the 6 squash halves on the baking sheet, and pack the filling lightly. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining toasted bread crumbs. Bake until the zucchini halves are heated through and the topping is crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
PER SERVING: Cal 150; Fat 6g; Sat fat 2g; Chol 5mg; Carb 18g; Protein 8g; Fiber 3g; Sodium 480mg