These zucchini boats, stuffed with potatoes and cheese, come from a recipe supplied by our sun-dried-tomato guru in Liguria
4 zucchini (each about 4 inches long, about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 large potato (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 egg, beaten
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Pesto
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Remove zucchini stems, and cut a thin round slice from the bottom of each zucchini. Now cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a serrated spoon, scoop out the fresh of each zucchini half, leaving intact 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh at both ends of each half. You will have 8 zucchini boats, and a mound of scooped-out zucchini fresh. Reserve both.
2. Boil the potato until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash in a potato ricer. Add the reserved zucchini fresh, the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the egg, and the nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Stuff each zucchini boat with the potato mixture. (The mixture should be only as high as the walls of the zucchini, or a little above.) With a brush, smear about 1/2 teaspoon of pesto on each zucchini boat.
4. Choose a baking pan in which the zucchini boats fit snugly. Spread a little olive oil in the bottom of the pan, and top with the zucchini. Pour 1/4 inch of water into the pan, cover with foil, and place in a preheated 400° F oven. After 20 minutes, remove the foil. Continue cooking for another 25 minutes. Remove zucchini, place on a platter, and let cool to warm room temperature. When ready to serve, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
These zucchini boats, stuffed with potatoes and cheese, come from a recipe supplied by our sun-dried-tomato guru in Liguria. Served at room temperature, they are fabulous openers for a sunny Mediterranean meal. Serves 4 as a first course