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Meatless Monday: Stuffed zucchini, with herbed orzo, almonds and fresh tomato sauce

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Because at this time of year, we need another way to prepare zucchini

If you're looking for ways to use up summer's zucchini bounty, then look no further. Zucchini hollowed out and stuffed with seasoned pasta, this meatless dish has summer written all over it.

You can count on zucchini for summer produce. It's everywhere you turn, and that's a good thing. Make sure one of the recipes you try this season for a Meatless Monday dish is zucchini stuffed with herbed orzo, almonds and fresh tomato sauce.

Stuffed zucchini with herbed orzo, almonds, and fresh tomato sauce

The simple sauce paired with the orzo and fresh herbs is divine. It's made using another go-to summer staple: tomatoes. You can easily cook up a batch of fresh tomato sauce that seasons the orzo used to stuff the zucchini. With fresh herbs and crunchy almonds in the mix, you can't go wrong with this dish as an appetizer or a light meal.

Stuffed zucchini, with herbed orzo, almonds and fresh tomato sauce recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, rough chopped
  • 4 fresh mint leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Feta cheese, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Use a paring knife and a small spoon to scoop out the seeds and flesh from the zucchini halves. You want to do this carefully so you have zucchini shells with about 1/4 inch of flesh remaining. If you like, keep the scooped-out zucchini flesh for another recipe.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the orzo according to the package directions, and then drain.
  4. As the orzo cooks, add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, and cook for about 3 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the tomatoes, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to release their juice and soften. Add the garlic to the mixture, and toss to combine.
  5. Transfer the tomato mixture to a bowl. Toss in the orzo, almonds and mint. Mix to combine.
  6. Place the zucchini shells in the baking dish. Use a spoon to fill the zucchini shells, mounding them as you go.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
  8. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with feta cheese if you like, and then garnish with extra mint. Serve warm.

Give this zucchini dish a try.

More Meatless Monday recipes

Caramelized fennel and fontina pizza
Green goddess salad wraps
Crabless cakes with a light rémoulade

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