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Vegan Planet: Orzo-Stuffed Zucchini

Friday, October 14, 2011


Orzo-Stuffed Zucchini

It’s time for “Flashback Friday” when I feature a favorite post from the past.  This week, the spotlight is on Orzo-Stuffed Zucchini, dating from July 2009. It was at a farmer’s market that summer when I discovered these adorable little round zucchini.  They were between the size of a tennis ball and a baseball and I couldn’t wait to get them home to stuff them.  I sliced off the tops and scooped out the insides, leaving about 1/4-inch shell all around.  I cooked the shells in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, just to soften them slightly.

I knew the stuffing would have to feature tomatoes because I love the zucchini-tomato combination.  I then got the idea to give it a puttanesca-inspired twist.  I sautéed minced garlic in olive oil along with the chopped insides from the zucchini.  I added chopped tomatoes, olives, and capers, seasoned with salt, pepper, and basil.  I combined this fragrant mixture with some cooked orzo (the rice-sized pasta proved to be perfect for the stuffing) and a little chopped cooked chard that I had on hand to add some greens.  I then stuffed the mixture inside each zucchini and baked them for about 20 minutes. I served these little beauties on a bed of the orzo-puttanesca mixture and they tasted as good as they looked. I haven’t seen these round zucchini since that one fateful encounter, but I keep looking — maybe I’ll find some next year.

While I was going through the posts from the summer of 2009, I found another favorite flashback from that time — this trio of delicious vegetables: roasted diced sweet potatoes and beets flanking some steamed spinach. 

I thought it would be fun to give the spinach a similar appearance to the other cubed vegetables, so I shaped it into a narrow rectangle and used my chef’s knife to “dice” it. The resulting plate of vegetables looked almost too good to eat — and would be even better drizzled with some Lemon-Cashew Cream Sauce from Quick-Fix Vegan!

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Those beets and potatoes look mighty tasty right now.
Orzo-stuffed zucchini looks and sounds wonderful. I also find the round ones only sporadically but I suppose you could enjoy this combination with regular zucchini too.
Is the recipe with the proportions you used in one of your books, and if so which one?
No, Faye, this isn't in any of my cookbooks -- just something I did on the fly (my favorite way to cook!).
I love stuffing veggies and I've never tried zucchini, thanks for the tip!
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