Zucchini season has begun! Our farmer friends at the Saturday 441 market gave us a basket full of round "magic eight ball" zucchini this week, and I'm sure it's just a foreshadowing of things to come. This is the first time we've had so many of the round variety, and something about it's shape was inspiring.
Pumpkin-like, they seemed to lend themselves to stuffing, and we came up with this simple recipe that also used the basket of bok choy and onions we received. It was festive and fun, and guests seemed to really enjoy it. We'll make it again.
STUFFED MAGIC EIGHT BALL ZUCCHINI
2 or 3 round zucchini
1 cup rice
1 cup dried lentils (we used the smaller, darker "French" vairety; they hold their shape a little better than the more common greenish-brown ones)
1 bunch bok choy
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup grated cheese, optional
Prepare zucchini: Preheat oven to 350. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise (for very small zucchini, just cut the tops off), scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard. Pour about 1/2" of water in the bottom of a baking pan. Place the squash, cut-side up in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350, till tender.
Prepare lentils: Rinse thoroughly, place in pot with 3 cups water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes till tender (keep checking after 20 minutes). Drain.
Prepare rice: Bring 2 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. Add 1 cup rice. Bring back to boiling, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Prepare bok choy: Wash bok choi, then cut into 1-inch wide slices, including stem. Dice onion and mince garlic. Saute onion and garlic in about 2 tablespoons olive oil till onion is clear. Add cumin, and stir around for 1 minute. Add bok choy and mix with onion and garlic. Add a couple tablespoons of water, turn down the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes till bok choy is tender. Drain.
Gently mix together drained lentils, rice, and drained vegetables. Salt and pepper as desired. Add 3/4 cup grated cheese if desired. Scoop into pre-baked zucchini and sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake for another 5-10 minutes till cheese is melted.