Irresistable Zucchini

What's not to love about these super-cute round zucchini?! When I first spied them at a farmers market a few years ago, I was absolutely smitten. So the other day, when I spotted a few at the Lincoln Center Greenmarket before heading home to cook dinner for some friends, I decided to revisit a recipe inspired by one I found a couple of years ago in the French magazine Régal.

Stuffed Round Zucchini
• 6 round zucchini, each a little larger than a pool ball
• 1 pound ground pork
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 medium sized onion, minced
• 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
• 2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cups stock

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the stem end off each zucchini (like a little hat). Check to see if they will stand upright, and if not, cut a little off the bottom to make a flat surface. Scoop some of the flesh from the inside of each zucchini, as you would a when making a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin (be careful not to poke the spoon through the bottom). Reserve the flesh and set the shells and their little hats aside.

In a pan, heat the olive oil, then sauté the garlic and onion until the onion is translucent. Add the pork and cook until it is no longer pink. Stir in the herbes de Provence and mustard, as well as a generous handful of the zucchini flesh (chop it up a bit if the chunks are large). Turn off the heat.

Stuff each zucchini with the pork filling (save any extra filling and zucchini flesh--I'll tell you what to do with it in a future post). Replace their little hats. Arrange them in an ovenproof baking dish, then pour the stock in the bottom of the dish. Bake for 20–30 minutes, or until the zucchini are tender and their edges start to brown.

Remove each zucchini from the liquid and serve.

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