zucchini stuffed with feta, pinenuts, and dill
Oh man, sometimes I get into the mode when I want to write about a recipe and words just flow, you know. And sometimes, I make a dish and it is heavenly. And I can’t wait to share it with all of you. And then – my mind goes all fragment-y and vacant. I write a few pieces and nothing quite flows and I scrap the whole thing and begin all over again. And this recipe is one of them.
And yet I cannot figure out why – because if anything this dish is so amazing, easy, delicious and healthy that I should have no problem singing it praises. I should just feel so inspired by the fact that there is nothing about this dish not worth noting, but instead I look at the pictures, salivate a bit and go back to the blank sheet to type something, anything that might induce a bit of sex-appeal for the dish. You know, every dish wants to be sexy in some way or another. It needs to have its edge, its je ne sais quoi, its mojo!
But here’s the rub – if say gossip magazines were loaded with nothing but positive and wonderful news of celebrities, the gossip magazine industry as we know it would cease to exist. Or sell a lot fewer magazines. Because people like to read stories with a little bit of hair on them. No one wants to read a happy-go-lucky story. We eat up negative tabloid news like nothing else – and someone’s making a mint on this! Some actress falling off the wagon and the next day a picture of her passed out in her car is front pages news; an innocent looking heartthrob getting caught with a hooker in an alley; a cherubic, stunning model videotaped doing cocaine. This is the stuff that really propels the sales into the stratosphere. I guess because this dish is the equivalent of a Meryl Streep celebrity-type, there’s little edge that it has. Talented, elegant, appealing, but not in the least bit scandalous or mysterious – when was the last time you read about Meryl in People, US Weekly, or OK?
I guess the missive is this – unless you dislike any of the ingredients listed, you need to make this dish. Soon. And if you dislike, pine nuts for example, just take them out and make the dish without them. I suppose if you don’t like zucchini, then you’re pretty much out of luck as the rest of the dish goes out the window, but few people I know dislike zucchini. In fact, no one I know, dislikes it.
So, it’s quite simple, you see. Make the dish. Taste for yourself. And let me know if you don’t love it – because I’ve yet to make this and have leftovers the next day. And there you have it, short, sweet, to the point. Nothing controversial about stuffed zucchini (unless you want to make a juvenile crack about me saying “stuffed”) – but I tried to come up with something zany for you, and it amounted to nothing. I suppose this would make me a failure at a tabloid magazine – I like happy stories both in print and on my plate!
4 1/2-pound zucchini, scrubbed
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound Feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
half a cup of toasted pine nuts
Trim and discard the stem ends from 2 of the zucchini, halve the 2 zucchini lengthwise, and with a melon-ball cutter scoop out the flesh, reserving it and leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Arrange the shells, cut sides up, on a steamer rack set over simmering water and steam them, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are just tender. Invert the shells on paper towels to drain.
Meanwhile, roast the pine nuts in a splash of olive oil and a bit of salt. When the pine nuts are nicely browned, remove from heat drain and set aside.
Cut the remaining 2 zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a non-stick skillet cook the onions in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until they are softened, add the reserved flesh, chopped, and the zucchini slices, and sauté the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring, until it is golden. In a food processor blend the mixture with the Feta until the zucchini slices are chopped coarse and stir in the dill. Divide the filling among the 4 zucchini shells, arrange the stuffed zucchini in an oiled flameproof baking dish, and broil them under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and deep golden.
Inspired by Epicurious.com