This is a recipe-ode to one of my favorite summer vegetables. They are sweet and delicate and oh so versatile. If you have a garden, chances are you have some of these babies growing. If not, the farmers’ market will have plenty come summer.
This recipe is a great way to complement, rather than drown, the sweet zucchini flavor. You can use regular sausage or vegan crumbles. I used the crumbles and really liked it. If you have fresh summer herbs around, feel free to add some of those healthy leaves to the mix. Enjoy!
- Olive oil
- 4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed OR one package soy crumbles (I used the Lightlife Gimme Lean Ground Sausage)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, or fresh breadcrumbs
- Zest and juice from one lemon
- 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Chopped fresh parsley to garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a large baking dish with oil. Scrape seeds and soft flesh from zucchini and reserve 1/2 cup. Place zucchini cut side up in the baking dish.
- Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet over med-high heat; add the sausage and onion. Cook, breaking up sausage, until it is cooked through, browned, and onion is softened, about 5 minutes. (If you use non-seasoned soy crumbles or regular sausage, season with some Italian spices and pepper). Add garlic and reserved zucchini; cook another minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients (breadcrumbs to egg). Divide mixture among zucchini. Bake until the filling is firm and each zucchini is tender and wrinkled around the edges, 30 to 40 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley.