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The Foodist: Zucchini Boats with Rice

The Foodist: Zucchini Boats with Rice
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

This is a spring and summer staple! The Foodist: Zucchini boats with rice. It’s good in the same way as The Foodist: Poached lemon and salmon over zucchini noodles is good.

There are times when a body needs to eat fast and well to get the job done on an urban farm. The amount of flavor, nutrients, textures, and Yum yum of this dish can’t be beat! And it is really easy to make and digest, a definite win in my book!

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tomato, diced (1 16oz can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes, drained)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. Reserve cooked rice.
  2. Halve zucchinis lengthwise and hollow out the flesh using a spoon. Place flesh in a small bowl and roughly chop.
  3. Place zucchini halves into a large baking dish or baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm olive oil for 1 minute. Add zucchini flesh and cook until water is gone, about 5-7 minutes. Add shallot and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
  5. To zucchini flesh-shallot mixture, add cooked rice, tomato, and salt. Stir to combine.
  6. Distribute rice mixture evenly into each zucchini half. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Top each zucchini half with mozzarella and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese melts and starts to brown.

NOTES

  • Substitute brown rice with your favorite grain. White rice, farro, quinoa, or barley would all work great. Cook according to package instructions. And if you are short on time, make your grain ahead of time.
  • Add your favorite protein to make it a heartier meat dish. Chicken, turkey, chickpeas, or tofu would all be great additions!
  • Make ahead: Prep your zucchini boats up to one day ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking by placing them on the counter for around one hour.
  • Substitute Swiss, provolone, or your favorite soft, mild cheese in place of mozzarella.
  • Make vegan/dairy-free: Substitute the mozzarella for your favorite plant-based cheese. Just be sure that it’s one that melts well, as some melt better than others.
  • To store: Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • LAST NOTE: These really do store well, and they are just as good heated in a microwave! Add marinara to spice it up a bit! Super good!
  • To reheat: Place zucchini in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve as a main entree or side
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