Monday, September 19, 2011

Orzo Stuffed Zucchini

As I have noted before, we do not care for bell peppers so I adapted this recipe to use up the remainder of our zucchini bounty this season. 

Orzo Stuffed Zucchini
recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 ½ cups orzo
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
6 medium zucchini

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using a pair of kitchen scissors or your hands; stir in the spinach mixture and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4-5 minutes. The orzo will only be only partially cooked because it will finish cooking in the oven. Strain the orzo pasta using a fine mesh sieve, reserving the vegetable broth.

Stir the orzo into the tomato spinach mixture. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil.

Transfer the reserved vegetable broth into a 3-quart baking dish. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes and cut a very thin slice from the bottom so the zucchini will stay upright in the baking dish.

Place the zucchini in the baking dish. Spoon the orzo mixture into the zucchini. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each zucchini with additional cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let zucchini rest for five minutes. Serve warm.