I have wanted to make this dish ever since reading about these ‘Pretty in the Pan Stuffed Patty Pan Squash’. I did find patty pan squash once at the farmer’s market, but regular zucchini is so much more common, and I figured boats would be just as fun. I loved the way that Angela made garlic infused rice as the base for the stuffing so I kept that aspect of the original recipe but changed a few of the other ingredients based on what I had on hand. This recipe looks long, and it does take about an hour from start to finish, but it is straightforward. So says the girl who had plenty of patience after bumming around all day. Here are the boats ready to go into the oven:
Everyone who tried these zucchini boats liked them. There was extra stuffing which I baked on the side of the boats, and that was good on it’s own. So if the idea of the boats doesn’t suit you, think of the stuffing as another summer side dish. I think the key is that the rice mixture was fairly wet, and didn’t dry out in the oven. By the time this is out of the oven, your dishes will all be done and you can just sit down and enjoy.
2 c. vegetable broth
1 t minced garlic
1 c. rice
8 baby carrots, or 3 medium carrots
1 small onion
3/4 c. black beans
1 T butter or margarine
2 T pesto (I used Amore pesto paste, but you could substitute tomato for a different flavor and color)
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Fill a large pot with 3-4″ of water, and bring to a boil. Simmer zucchini halves in the pot, covered, for about 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Remove from pot, and allow to cool. Scoop out the insides of the zucchini gently with a spoon. Mash the zucchini and set aside, and place the zucchini boats in a baking dish.
Bring vegetable broth, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt to a boil. Add rice, and simmer covered until cooked.
Place the mashed zucchini, carrots, and onion in the food processor and blend until finely chopped. (You can do this by hand, if you prefer.) Stir in the beans, butter or margarine, and pesto. When the rice is done, mix the vegetables and beans into the rice.
Stuff zucchini boats with the rice mixture, and bake at 375F for 20 minutes.