Stuffed produce is a great way to transition from summer to fall. The end of summer and beginning of autumn means gardens are working overtime to fill our tables with amazing fruits and vegetables, but cooler weather also keeps popping up and baking it all in the oven begins to be downright appealing. So grab some of that plentiful zucchini and get ready to discover a new favorite dish.
The filling for this dish combines the heat found in jalapeños with your favorite Cajun seasoning and maybe even a bit of hot sauce (it's optional, but highly recommended). If that sounds like it might be too hot, remember that zucchini is mostly water and you'll be putting lots of cheese and tender shrimp in there too. I find that even kids go bonkers for this one!
Speaking of kids, help make this an extra fun meal by steaming some sweet corn, slicing some melon, and tossing cherry tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and a bit more of that fresh basil to round out your meal. It will be a hit with everyone at the table.
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced in half and seeds scooped out
- 8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined (double this amount if topping the stuffed zucchini with additional shrimp when serving)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasonings or more to taste
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 4 ounces shredded Manchego cheese
- 10 or so large basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon or more of your favorite hot sauce, optional
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare the zucchini and place in a baking dish; set aside.
Add the shrimp to a mixing bowl and coat with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Toss with the Cajun seasonings.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the other teaspoon of olive oil. Cook the onion and peppers about 5 minutes, allowing them to soften. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Scoop the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Cook the shrimp in the same skillet for a couple minutes per side until cooked through. Cool and chop. Add the chopped shrimp to the mixing bowl with the vegetables.
Add the cheeses, basil, and hot sauce (if using). Mix well.
Scoop the mixture into the zucchini and bake 20-30 minutes at 375° F. If desired, top the zucchini halves with additional sautéed shrimp when serving.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: 45 minutes