Just Stuff It

I will let you in on a little secret about Turks:We like to stuff!

As soon as we realize that we can dig up a hole in any vegetable, we stuff it. You name the stuffing: rice, bulgur, meat, cheese…mixed or all alone…

I have watched my grandma stuffing zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, artichokes, celeriac, zucchini blossoms…

When we find a flat one, we immediately roll it around the stuffing: collard greens, chards, grape leaves, cabbage name a few…

We just can not let it be. It is much more filling that way, makes a good use of small amounts of grains and meat and delivers a big punch at the table. It is one of the first things you can do if you want to stretch your ingredients to feed a crowd. The veggies stuffed with meat are normally eaten hot, preferably a big dollop of thick yogurt on it. You can get away with eating right out of the fridge if your stuffing is rice one and cooked with olive oil.

So I got some zucchinis at the farmer’s stand and my favorite herbs. Since it would be a shame to cook the zucchini alone in that big dish, had to carve the insides, make some cheese-herb filling and bake it like we do time to time during summer back home. I like to eat it warm but however strikes your fancy.

And just want to give you heads up in case you want to join us…Some of us are getting together and throwing a “virtual” babyshower for one of our blogger friends, Shelley. I am looking forward to it. We will be sharing time and/or freezer friendly recipes starting from June 25th , all week long. If you have good recipes, let me know and I’ll add you to our little group.

Feta Cheese Stuffed Zucchinis

  • 2 big zucchinis
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 8-10 green or black olives (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • A handful of Italian parsley (chopped)
  • A handful of dill (chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Lemon zest form 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing zucchinis

1. Scrape the skins off of the zucchinis a bit (enough to make it smooth if there are any bad parts. Wash them and cut them in half lengthwise.

2. Boil a big pot of water. Add a pinch of salt. Boil zucchinis for five minutes, take them out and let it cool.

3. Scoop out the seeded insides. Chop it and squeeze the excess water. Put in a mixing bowl.

4. Add everything else. Adjust the taste and herbs if you like to add more or less. Brush the insides of zucchinis with olive oil. Divide the filling among four pieces of zucchini. Place them in a baking pan.

5. Cover with aluminum foil, put in the oven, turn the oven on to 350-degrees. Bake for 30 min, uncover, bake for another 10 min.

Variations: I did not have a specific recipe for this dish, it normally is an attempt to finish the last of fresh herbs, cheese sitting in the fridge. You can add diced, cored tomatoes, add bread crumbs and an egg to the filling to make more or stiffer filling. Play with it to your liking.

 

 

 

 

 

9 Comments:

  1. by Susan
    7:50 pm
    Jun 21, 2012

    I absolutely love this time of year when I can walk out my back door and cut parsley and other herbs to use in recipes. This sounds like a great way to use all that summer has to offer!

  2. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    12:20 am
    Jun 22, 2012

    I enjoy stuffed veggies! Those stuffed zucchinis look summery and delightful.
    Gotta make some Turkish pizzas this weekend ;-) My husband’s fav.

  3. by rebecca
    9:24 am
    Jun 22, 2012

    and you stuffed it so well

  4. by Terra
    11:12 pm
    Jun 22, 2012

    Bwahahaha!!!! I love your title, so perfect:-) I think I love the idea of stuffing everything with delicious treats, especially cheese! The recipe looks yummy! Hugs, Terra

  5. by Liz
    9:21 pm
    Jun 23, 2012

    Stuffing foods makes such a fabulous presentation…I need to do it more often! Your stuffed zucchini sounds perfect~

  6. by kitchenriffs
    11:55 am
    Jun 25, 2012

    Stuffing stuff is so much fun, isn’t it? Zucchini is the perfect vehicle, and so abundant at this time of the year (sweet peppers, too). I’m a lot like you when I do this sort of dish – I just use whatever is at hand – love to play in the kitchen. Fun post, thanks.

  7. by Nami | Just One Cookbook
    7:52 pm
    Jun 25, 2012

    If Turkish people like to stuff, then Japanese people like to roll. LOL! Not only sushi we like to roll things with paper-thin sliced meat etc. I love stuffed food. Adds more flavors and the great part is that they all look fabulous – adding colors and dimensions to it – just like these zucchinis!.

  8. by Jar
    12:23 pm
    Jun 27, 2012

    Mmmmmmm…….. I have all the ingredients except zucchinis so will make stuff avocados. Have few of them ready to eat, and it will be perfect to stuff them!
    Thank you for sharing this
    recipe!

  9. by Jar
    12:26 pm
    Jun 27, 2012

    ….but avoiding the boiling part…. :-)

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