Stuffed Summer Vegetables
Using a mix of vegetables will dress-up a summer dinner.
|8 ||small zucchini or eggplant, medium round summer squash or large peppers |
|2 T||olive oil |
|1 1⁄4 c||medium breadcrumbs, divided use |
|1⁄4 c||milk |
|1 lb||ground pork or loose sausage, ground chicken or ground turkey |
|3 clv||garlic, peeled and chopped |
|1⁄2 ||small onion, diced |
| ||salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste |
|3 ||large ripe tomatoes, diced |
|3 T||chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, etc.) |
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Trim the tops off the vegetables. Halve the long vegetables lengthwise and the round vegetables horizontally (for round summer squash, just remove the tops). Discard seeds. Scoop out the remaining flesh (except for bell peppers), leaving shells about 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inches thick. Chop the flesh, put it into a large bowl, and set it aside. Drizzle 1 tbs. of the olive oil in a large baking dish and arrange the halves evenly in the dish. Briefly soak the 1 cup breadcrumbs in the milk, then add the crumbs to the bowl of vegetable flesh. Add the crumbled meat, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper to taste; mix everything together evenly with your hands. Add the tomatoes and herbs and mix loosely. Fill the vegetable shells with the stuffing and sprinkle each with the 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbs. olive oil. Bake for 1 hour, or until the shells have softened (but not crumpled) and the crumbs on top have browned. Serve hot.
To make a meatless dish, substitute 2-cups cooked beans or lentils for the meat.