There is a bit of work involved here. You could take a shortcut and cut whole zucchini in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fill the “boats” with the stuffing, but it’s not nearly as impressive as cutting the zucchini into rounds. But it’s your call: fancy or no thanks, in a hurry.
6 small (straight) zucchini (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1/2 cup small tomatoes (grape or cherry)*
8 medium basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup grated aged goat cheese (or white cheddar)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Heat the oven to 400°F. Slice the zucchini into 3/4-inch rounds and scoop most of the pulp out with a melon baller (be careful not to go all the way through — you’re making a “bowl” for the stuffing.)
Squeeze the drained sun-dried tomatoes in several layers of paper towels to remove most of the oil.
Place the sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, cheeses and pepper flakes into a food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture is still chunky but the ingredients are mostly blended.
Grease (or spray with non-stick spray) a baking sheet. Place the hollowed zucchini rounds on the sheet and fill with about a teaspoon of filling, mounding it up slightly.
Bake about 10 to 12 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly and the zucchini is cooked al dente. Remove from the oven and transfer to a platter. Garnish with tiny basil leaves if desired.
If you use cherry tomatoes, remove the seeds. Cut them in half, and scoop out the seeds, leaving just the shell.
If you like blue cheese, you can swap out the goat (or cheddar) with equal amount of blue cheese crumbles.
And skip the fresh tomatoes if you want. Roast red pepper works just as well.
Keywords: zucchini appetizer, sun-dried tomato and cheese stuffed zucchini