Zucchini with Couscous Stuffing

I had zucchini…and little else. I remembered a recipe I saw in Real Simple magazine for stuffed zucchini. Suddenly finding myself out of quinoa, void of cherry tomatoes and lacking cannelini beans I improvised with couscous, canned, drained tomatoes and good ol’ garbanzos. A few almonds, some Parmesan and my Sunday night was looking a little brighter.

I’m planning on using the leftover filling to stuff peppers and perhaps eggplant this week. And BONUS JONAS*, the filling is quite tasty on its own, like the grain salads at Whole Foods.

Zucchini with Couscous Stuffing

Recipe adapted from Real Simple magazine

Serves 4

Total Time: 55 minutes

  • 1 cup dry couscous (I used whole wheat)
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans (garbanzo, cannelini etc.) rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained OR 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cook couscous according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut-side up.
  3. Fluff the couscous and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, 1/2 of the Parmesan, oregano and 3 tablespoons of the oil.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining tablespoon of oil and rest of the Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

*Bonus Jonas, also known as Frankie Jonas, is the youngest of the Jonas Brothers, the pop group known for their tight pants and wholesome virtues.  For all intents and purposes, any reference to “Bonus Jonas” is not referring to Frankie, but to that “wait, there’s more!” feeling you get, culinary speaking, a sort of post-script, i.e. “I found an extra fry at the bottom of the bag. Bonus Jonas!”

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