Greek Stuffed Zucchini
Moosewood Restaurant: New Classics
2 Zucchini (10 inches long)
1/4 cup dry sherry
Cinnamon tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes with juice (28 oz can)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 4 tablespoons dry sherry
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup chopped onions
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup currants
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs (optional)
dash of olive oil (optional)
grated feta cheese
fresh oregano leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly oil a baking sheet
Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. With a paring knife, score the flesh about 1/2 inch deep. Place the cut sides down on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sherry and cover with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, until yielding but still firm.
While the zucchini bakes, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onions and garlic, and saute for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, and sherry. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
While the sauce simmers, prepare the filling. Saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. In a bowl, combine the sauteed onions with the walnuts, feta, currants, and lemon juice. Stir in the rice.
When the zucchini is tender, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving a thin 1/4 inch shell. Chop the flesh and add it to the filling. Mound the filling in the shells and sprinkle with sauteed bread crumbs and olive oil, if desired. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes until hot.
To serve, ladle some of the tomato sauce onto each plate. Place a stuffed zucchini on the sauce and top with grated feta. Garnish, if you wish, with oregano leaves.