Author Notes: Monster zucchini, it happens every year; one day they are growing, looking fine, but if you do not pay attention, they will at some point resemble zucchini on steroids. This recipe was inspired by the monster zucchini growing in my garden.
One hot summer day I was thinking of lasagna, it was a perfect day to BBQ and I was wondering what to do with oversized zucchini. With all ingredients on hand I created and grilled what we now call, Italian Zucchini Boats appropriately named after its shape. These boats take on all the flavors of lasagna, and were initially grilled and served as the main dish. Off season smaller store bought zucchini baked in the oven make a good mini-side. This recipe is in the local bi-annual PBS cookbook fundraiser and I recently had fun presenting it on the live broadcast, my profile photo is from that day.
Note: Stuffing ingredient amounts are not given because this recipe depends on the size of the zucchini and how many you plan to make. Eyeball it.
Serves as many as you have prepared for
- INGREDIENTS – to your taste
- Medium large to monster sized zucchini (cut 6-7 inch inches in length)
- Ricotta Cheese - fresh would be wonderful
- Bocconcini Mozzarella balls (or cube up a mozzarella ball if you can’t find bocconcini)
- Marinara sauce - your favorite
- Pecorino Romano cheese – microplane grated
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh Italian parsley and/or other seasonings of choice
- Fresh ground pepper
- Note: when I use Pecorino in a recipe I skip the salt
- Prepare a grill with a cover, get the coals hot.
- Prepare the zucchini: cut off the stem and cut in half, and spoon seeds out of the middle, if needed, hollow out enough space for filling.
- Spoon in and spread marinara sauce. Spoon in and spread Ricotta cheese. Add mozzarella, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil, and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle one more layer of marinara. Garnish with Pecorino, Italian parsley.
- TO COOK
- Outdoors: place on greased heavy duty foil; crease the edges up to hold all the zucchini boats in and cook, covered over indirect heat until the zucchini is heated and the filling starts to bubble and melt.
- If the weather is nasty, indoors: place on a greased ovenproof dish and bake @ 375 degrees until the zucchini is heated and the filling starts to bubble and melt.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Barbecue
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Fresh Ricotta
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Summer Squash Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Using Fresh Mozzarella