Middle Tennessee is suffering from a severe lack of rain this summer. If we don't get some relief pretty soon, our beautiful garden will be in terrible shape. One of the water districts have requested water conservation before restrictions are put in place. All I can say is zucchini plants must have roots that go to China. Lack of water has not stopped these plants from producing. It is one vegetable that can be the size of a cigar one day and the length of your arm the next.
My Aunt Kay was telling me about how my cousins loved it when Grandma Albert fixed them baked zucchini. Why hadn't I thought of that before? This is the perfect way to use this quickly overgrown vegetable. Basically you will mix up an "Italian sausage meatloaf" and add whatever goodies to the mix to make it even better! Grandma poured tomato sauce over the zucchini but I opted to use two jars of canned crushed Roma tomatoes from the pantry.
Lay the zucchini on the counter to figure out which way to cut it in half so that it will lay flat. With a heavy duty serving spoon, scoop out all the seeds so that all you have left is the firm flesh.
Lay the zucchini on a baking sheet. (Salt and pepper to taste) I try to make this a little on the healthy side and leave out the additional salt, but Andy thinks the zucchini is too bland if you don't add additional seasonings.
- In a medium bowl mix well:
- 5 mild Italian sausages (casing removed)
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1 cup colored peppers, chopped
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
Cover with your choice of sauce or two cans of crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for one hour.
Top each zucchini with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is nicely browned and melted, about 20 minutes.
If the zucchini is not tender enough, cover with aluminum foil so the cheese doesn't burn. The flesh of baked zucchini a lot firmer. Spoon extra tomato sauce over the top and serve with garlic bread.