I remember when I was 6-8 years old, we were spending vacations on our large garden plot and sleeping in a Summer small house. My father was planting tomatoes & cucumbers for sale and other vegetables for our own use. We had zucchinis, but not eating them while they are small, but waiting them to grow to 2-3 kg each:)
Nowadays it is hard to find these big zucchinis in stores, but when I go to Farmers market, I get them from real farmers, not the sellers that buy in wholesalers and just distribute goods. They cost about 1 USD per kilogram.
One of the dishes that my Mum made for our big families those days was Baked zucchini. It was quite cheap dish to make: you use minced meat mixed with rice, so you can manage on your own the ratio between them:)
- large zucchini (mine weighted 1,2 kg/ 2,6 lb)
- 0,6 kg/1,3 lb minced meat (I used turkey)
- 100 g/ 3,5 oz rice
- 700 ml/3 cups tomato sauce
- 200 g/ 7 oz cheese (suitable for melting)
- salt & pepper
- basil, thyme, oregano
Peel zucchini and cut it along into to pieces. Take the seeds out. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Add salt, pepper and herbs to tomato sauce. Shred the cheese to the bowl.
Prepare the filling:
Mix minced meat with cooked rice. I had about 1/4 of rice (cooked) and 3/4 meat. Add diced onion, parley and egg. Season with salt and pepper and your favorite herbs (oregano, thyme, basil).
Place zucchini in a baking pan. Fill the hollow in zucchini with meat. Cover it with tomato sauce and pour the rest of the sauce to the pan.
Bake for 40 minutes in 180 C/ 350 F and add shredded cheese. Bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce and parsley. I also like to put some ketchup on the top of my plate, to add little bit of sourness to it, as zucchini itself can taste a little bit bland:)