Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sausage Stuffed 8 ball zucchini

You might remember a similar post last year where I stuffed these adorable 8 ball zucchini with tomato basil quinoa. This year I have gone for a heartier version and used sausage (squeezed out of the casing) for the stuffing. I didn't use any grains but I think that rice would be a perfect addition to this dish if you would like to have a starch. These little squash aren't around for long - I only see them at the farmer's market for a few weeks each year but I can't pass them up! If you can't find 8 ball squash you can always use green squash with the center hollowed out a bit to make a "canoe". 

In case you haven't been experiencing the ridiculous heat that has been all over the east coast, let me fill you in - putting on the stove in my house this month is just not allowed...PERIOD! This means that my big hopes for my triumphant blog return have been delayed a bit since no stove means no cooking which means no dinners to post about! The best thing about this recipe is that I figured out a way to make these without having to use the oven! Yes, you do need to use the stove top but technically you could make these on the grill. Imagine what your guests will say when you take these adorable little sausage stuffed zucchini out instead of a big juicy steak? OK maybe you should warn them first because while they are delicious...a giant steak should never be messed with!

Sausage Stuffed 8 ball Zucchini
2 hot italian sausages - squeezed out of the casing
1/2 onion - finely diced
1/2 green pepper - finely diced
1 plum tomato - diced
handful of fresh parsley - finely diced
4 fresh basil tops - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
8 tbsp feta cheese
salt & pepper
olive oil

1) Wash each squash, cut off the top and use a spoon to hollow and remove seeds. Brush with a small amount of oil and season with salt & pepper.
2) In a large pan bring about 1" of salted water to a boil and place the zucchini inside - cover to steam
3) While the zucchini is steaming, brown the sausage meat in a frying pan
4) Add the garlic, pepper and onion and still till softened and browned.
5) In the final minutes, add the diced tomato and herbs - mix to combine.
6) Remove the softened zucchini from the water.
7) Place a spoon full of cheese at the bottom, a spoon full of filling and then top with more cheese.
8) Carefully place back in the large pan and heat over medium while covered for about 5- 7 min or until cheese melts.