Monday, March 5, 2012

Baked Caprese Stuffed Zucchini

My dad recently visited me in NYC, and we had an absolute blast eating our way through the city. One of my favorite dishes was the Caprese Salad from an Upper East Side Italian restaurant. It was the best Caprese Salad I have ever had and inspired me to come up with a unique twist on this simply delcicious first course. I use zucchini "boats" as the bed for a simple tomato-basil salad and then throw them in the oven to develop the fresh flavors even further. The whole dish is then topped with melty mozzarella. Sound good? I promise you will not be disappointed.  

2 large Zucchini
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, divided
1 1/2 pints Grape Tomatoes, each tomato quartered
1 cup packed Basil Leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 tablespoons) grated Parmesan Cheese
2 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, grated


Preaheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the whole zucchinis to boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain immediately and cut each zucchini lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the inside of each zucchini to form a boat shape. Be sure not to scoop to far and pierce the skin. Sprinkle each zucchini boat with 1/8 teaspoon of salt and transfer to a baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl combine the quartered grape tomatoes, remaining teaspoon of salt, basil, balsamic vinegar, and grated Parmesan. Mix until well combined. Fill each zucchini boat with a quarter of the tomato-basil mixture. place the boats close together. I ball up 2 pieces of aluminum foil and place on either side to be sure the boats don't fall over when baking. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top each boat with 1/2 ounce of Mozzarella. Continue baking for 10 to 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Servings: 4 Serving Size: 1 stuffed and cheese topped zucchini boat; 120 calories per serving

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