This Vegetable Stuffed Zucchini is light, refreshing, and wholesome — the perfect veggie-packed, gluten-free side dish for those warm weather months.
- 4 medium zucchini*
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (see instructions for oil-free)
- 2–3 cloves of garlic, finely minced or crushed
- 1–2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (use less if sensitive to spice)
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch of asparagus, finely chopped on a bias
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup (60 g) toasted slivered almonds*, divided
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and set a 9×13″ baking pan aside. Wash the zucchini, then cut off the hard stem of the squash. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise, to form two “boats.” Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the inside flesh of the zucchini, creating a long and hollow indentation along the boat. Repeat with all of the zucchini halves, then finely chop the scooped out insides; set aside.
- Filling: heat a large non-stick pan to medium heat, then add the oil (Oil-free: sub 1/4 cup / 60 ml of water). Once warm, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant. Add the chopped zucchini, carrot, asparagus, and salt; sauté for 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated from the bottom of the pan. Set 2 tablespoons of the toasted almonds aside, then fold the remaining almonds into the vegetable mixture. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste, if necessary.
- Stuff: arrange the zucchini in your baking dish with the hollowed side up, then use a spoon to stuff each “boat” with the vegetable and almond filling – don’t be afraid to really pile it on here! Once all of your zucchini are stuffed, carefully pour 1 cup (240 ml) of filtered water into the corner of the casserole dish; it may help to use a funnel here to protect the zucchini.
- Bake: cover the dish with aluminum foil, then carefully place in the center rack of your oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the zucchini boats are tender. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil, watching for steam.
- Steam: transfer the zucchini onto serving plates or a tray, then top with the remaining slivered almonds. Serve warm; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Zucchini: aim to purchase zucchini that are straight, around the same width of your casserole dish, and about the same thickness from top to bottom. This helps to make the scooping and filling process easier.
- Almonds: to toast almonds, pre-heat a nonstick pan to medium heat. Once warm, add the almonds and stir occasionally. Toast for 2-7 minutes, until the almonds are golden brown; toasting time will depend on the thickness of the almonds.