Recipe: Filled zucchini au gratin

I used to cook this a lot with someone and I’ve recently remembered it again because it’s a little time-intensive but very good. I never measure my things, so take the measurements with a grain of (haha) salt.

Note the lakes of juice and cheese fat. For you fatophobics: That’s the grease you won’t be eating, so all’s good.

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes. Oven required

What you’ll need:

  • 2 – 3 medium-sized zucchini
  • 200 – 300 grams of cherry tomatoes
  • 20 – 30 grams of parmesan cheese, roughly grated (or vegan alternative, Daiya shreds, etc.)
  • 4 – 6 slices of goat cheese (or vegan alternative)
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, finely sliced. Not dried, those taste like arse. Alternatively, freeze-dried fresh garlic
  • 2 – 3 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 peperoncini (hot chilli peppers), to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (flakes or powder)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil (flakes or powder)
  • 1 tbsp mild paprika powder (or 1 tsp hot paprika powder)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • A little pepper

Cut the zucchini lengthwise and hollow them out as best you can by scraping out the flesh using a sharp spoon. Make the zucchini walls as thin as possible without breaking them, so baking won’t take forever later. Keep the zucchini flesh and chop it into small pieces. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Chop the garlic finely. Grate the cheese(s).

Chop the onions into small bits. Heat olive oil to slightly less than medium heat. Add the onions, fry very slowly for 5 – 10 minutes without letting them get too brown or black.

Add the garlic, paprika powder, peperoncini, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Mix with the onions for 30 seconds to make the flavors come out. Then add the zucchini flesh and cherry tomato halves. Raise heat to medium-high. Cook while stirring occasionaly until the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture has a thick, jammy texture.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Put the zucchini halves on a baking tray, on top of baking paper. Fill each halved zucchino roughly to the brim with the cooked mixture and sprinkle parmesan and goat cheese on top. Bake at 180ºC in the middle of the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the cheese, don’t let it get too dark.

Serve with dry white rice, rösti, pan-cooked potatoes, hash browns, that kind of stuff. Enjoy!

(License: CC-By-SA 3.0; Creative Commons share-alike 3.0. It’s not rocket science but I don’t want recipe crawling sites copying it without attribution.)

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