I’ve been wanting to make my rendition of Zucchini Boats for a while now, and tonight seemed like the perfect night to do so. Zach is still in Poland, and sometimes it’s hard to cook for just one person, but except for some chopping, this recipe is very easy to construct. This is also the perfect time of year to start making zucchini. In some parts of the country, Zucchini and other summer squash, are really starting to come into season. They are great fried up or sautéed, and when they’re baked they’re even better. I spiced this recipe up a little bit and added some sultry touches. It’s simple, unique, and healthy.
These Zucchini Boats aren’t your average vegetable concoction. I’ve added chorizo sausage to spice it up a bit, and boy was that a great idea. The combination of veggies and cheese with this sausage makes you wonder why you didn’t add chorizo to zucchini boats before! I also decided to marinate the veggies in a balsamic and drizzle with a garlic cream sauce. The balsamic lightens it up and the garlic cream sauce really brings out the sultry flavors in the tomatoes and zucchini! I’d suggest using the largest zucchini you can find. Sometimes these can be hard to come by, but they are definitely worth the search. I used a smaller zucchini since that is all the farmer’s market had, but I reassure you that bigger is better in this case. I’d also like to mention that when I was in the grocery store I came across yellow grape tomatoes, which are really orange. I haven’t seen these too often. So instead of using your every day red grape tomatoes, I decided to use the orange ones instead. They are so juicy and were a great substitution, so if you can get your hands on these, I certainly recommend them.
To pair this dish with a beer, I decided to use Trader Joe’s 2011 Vintage Ale which was actually brewed by Unibroue. Now we understand that this beer, because it is way past it’s release, is impossible to find. Not to mention, that you need to live near a Trader Joe’s that actually sells alcohol to purchase it. So I apologize if you can’t get your hands on it. I decided to pair this dish with this beer because the depth in this beer is so great. It really brings out the flavors and textures of this dish. Even though the sauces in this dish run deep, it is still a very subtle, light dish. It’s a Belgian strong dark ale, and it sure does live up to its name. If you are lucky enough to have one of these bottles stored in your closet, pair it with this dish, and if you aren’t lucky enough to have it, wait until this upcoming fall when Trader Joe’s releases it’s 2012 Vintage Ale. We aren’t sure exactly what it’s going to be yet, but we’re sure it will certainly be delicious!
Have fun and Enjoy!
- 3 medium to large zucchini, cut in half, flesh removed and cubed
- 1 medium-sized yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup yellow or red grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 medium-sized spanish onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
- 2 jalapeños, seeds removed and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs oregano, removed from stem and finely chopped
- 3/4 lb chorizo sausage, removed from casing
- 1/2 loaf day old baguette, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup gruyere cheese, finely grated
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup Garlic, Thyme Cream Sauce for drizzling
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3 thyme sprigs, removed from stems and finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking dish(es) with 3 to 4 zucchini halves. If you only have one dish, just bake in two batches.
- In a medium-sized bowl toss your bread cubes in a mixture of EVOO, salt, and pepper; and set aside to marinate for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, get a sauté pan heated on the stove top over medium-heat. Once the pan is heated, add the chorizo sausage and sauté until cooked through. Set aside on a paper towel to drain some of the excess liquid.
- In another bowl, drizzle the balsamic dressing into the bottom of the bowl. Add the diced zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, onion, green bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic and oregano. Add a dash of salt and pepper, and fold together with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in the chorizo sausage. Once everything is combined, add the bread crumbs and about 1/2 cup of grated gruyere and mix until just combined. Using a large spoon, scoop your medley into your boats. Drizzle with a touch of EVOO, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the rest of the cheese, and bake again for 5 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted. Remove from heat immediately, drizzle with Garlic, Thyme Cream Sauce and serve!
- For the garlic, thyme cream sauce, Over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and let sweat for about 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute before adding the white wine to deglaze. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then remove from heat and pour into a mesh strainer over top a bowl to catch the liquid. Return the liquid to the sauté pan, and add the heavy cream, basil, and thyme. Let simmer for about 15 minutes allowing it to thicken. Remove from heat, and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Drizzle over top Zucchini Boats for added deliciousness!