While I love warm, sunshiney summer days…I am a total fool for drizzly, overcast, cool weather. I blame the foolishness on so many dry, cloudless years in the desert. This weekend was a welcome (to me!) respite from heat and humidity in Michigan. It was rainy and a little cool, there were clouds and a bit of thunder, and just the teensiest hint of fall in the air.
As a fool for cool, autumnal days, I always eagerly anticipate the change of the season as summer winds down. I (prematurely) switch my candles, bust out a pumpkin or two, and begin to bake and cook with fall in mind. This recipe takes the late summer bounty of zucchini and tomatoes, and pairs it with plenty of baked and bubbly cheese–making this dish a transition from fresh summer fare to baked, cheesy, comfort.
Zucchini Boats with 3 Cheeses and Roasted Tomatoes
Not only does this dish pair fresh, summer vegetables with a warm, casserole situation, it’s super easy and meatless main or side dish. PS, there’s a lot of cheese in this dish…I just like it that way.
1 pint grape tomatoes, or other small tomatoes
3 medium zucchinis
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1-2 teaspoons finely chopped basil
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara–homemade or storebought
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Spread tomatoes evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake tomatoes in the oven for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes begin to burst, release juices, and start to caramelize around the bottom. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl mix together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, and basil, season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Halve zucchinis, scrape out the seeds with a spoon creating a well–being sure to leave 1/4 inch or so of flesh around the edges, ends, and bottoms. Season zucchini boats with salt and pepper. Spread the marinara sauce evenly in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Nestle the zucchini boats into the sauce. Gently fold the cooled, roasted tomatoes into the cheese mixture. Generously fill each zucchini boat with the cheese and tomato filling. Bake in the 400*F oven for 20-30 minutes until zucchini become tender and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown in spots. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before serving.