Baked zucchini boats, as a fresh new approach on a timeless Mediterranean classic. Using brown rice, green lentils, roasted pine nuts and dried wild blueberries, among other things, the stuffing I used here is definitely up there among my most cherished signature items. It hits a really nice balance of savory, sweet, spicy and sour with a texture to remember.
There are a few things to note here. The first is a caution agains using frozen wild blueberries (or springing for frozen regular blueberries). I would highly advise against these because they don’t taste the same and they will stain the whole stuffing. Please try to use dried wild blueberries (or currants). The second is about the zucchinis themselves. This recipe bakes the zucchinis, together with the stuffing, just enough to be cooked but still retaining some of their fresh “snap”. I definitely think that this is the better way to enjoy them but if you are into more mushy zucchinis, feel free to adjust the cooking time.
Vegan, gluten free, full of fiber and color, and with a nice balance of protein and carbs, this definitely is a feel good eat.
- 3 large zucchinis
- 1/4 cup green lentils uncooked
- 1/4 cup brown rice uncooked
- 4 cups water
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 to mato chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons dried wild blueberries or dried currants
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsleys chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Salt and black pepper as needed
Boil rice and lentils in water until they get soft and edible but still firm. Drain them and set aside.
Cut each of the zucchinis midway lengthwise.
Carve the inside of each half of the zucchinis, enough to make room for the filling.
Put the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat.
Add the pine nuts and roast them for a few minutes until they start changing color.
Add the onions and when they turn translucent, add the garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, cinnamon and black pepper powder. Cook for an additional 2 minutes
Add the rice and lentils, cook for one more minute, turn the heat off.
Add the greens and the dried wild blueberries.
Fill the zucchini halves with the rice mix. Put them in an oven tray lightly coated with olive oil and bake at 400F for 40 minutes
After taking the zucchinis out, pour a little lemon juice over each.
Zucchinis themselves will cook but they won't get mushy. They will retain some fresh texture.
Please avoid frozen wild blueberries. They don't work as well and they stain everything else blue.