Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Recipe!

So I found this recipe recently and held on to it, because it sounded like it tastes wonderful! Meanwhile, I had no idea where on earth I was going to find the cute little, round squashes that it took to create it. However, I came across the 8 ball squashes at the local farmer's market last weekend and was thrilled! The recipe was everything I expected - visually stimulating and delicious! I served it with broiled fish, topped with a tomato sauce, and it was a very healthy, lovely meal.

Eight-Ball Zucchini Stuffed with Rice, Basil, and Sun-dried Tomatoes

4 8-ball zucchinis
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1 1/4 cup cooked brown rice (I used leftovers from another night)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 cup basil leaves, chopped

Cut zucchini tops off about 3/4 inch from the top. Scoop out the insides, being careful to leave a wall about 1/4 inch thick on all sides. Steam zucchini and tops for about 8 minutes, until slightly softened.

Rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes by soaking them in hot water until softened. Remove from water and chop. Reserve soaking water.

Chop the zucchini pulp. Spray a non-stick skillet lightly with olive oil. Over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the zucchini pulp and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, brown rice and almonds, and if the mixture seems dry, add a splash of the tomato liquid. Add the basil leaves and black pepper to taste. Cook until warm, about 3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Using a spoon, carefully stuff the rice mixture into the zucchini, mounding slightly on top. Place in an uncovered baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot, covered with tops if desired.

(Shhhhhhhhhh, this is a vegan recipe and it's super healthy!)

Broiled Fish with Tomato Basil Sauce

2-4 fish filets, boneless, skinless (salmon would be good; I used tilapia)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup white wine
3 T butter
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

Set oven to broil. Put can of tomatoes in a food processor or mini chopper and blend. Add to hot pan, add wine and butter. Stir frequently until fish is done.

Since the oven was already 400 degrees from the squash, the fish cooked very quickly on broil (I pulled the squash out of the oven and put it in a covered pot to keep it warm while the fish cooked.) Salt and pepper both sides of fish, as well as brush with olive oil. Broil 9 minutes for every inch of thickness, flipping once halfway. While fish is cooking, add the chopped basil to pan sauce. My tilapia only took about 7 minutes, so the squash was still hot and the sauce was done when the fish was ready to serve (a little timing tip for ya).

Serve fish and add sauce over the top. Serve with the squash and it's a beautiful, balanced meal.

Enjoy! Chef Meri

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