Monday, December 31, 2007

December 30, 2007: Fetta stuffed zucchini with sweet potato chips

A few days after Christmas I visited a family friend and returned home with zucchinis and eggs. Maybe the zucchinis don't look all that intimidating at first glance, but compare them to the biro posed at the top of the picture - these are big zucchinis. Over the following week I managed to knock 'em down with one dish per zucchini.

For my first trick, I tried stuffing one. I think the mild, watery flavour of zucchini works well with firm salty cheese like haloumi or fetta so I decided that fetta would be the feature ingredient. Add some garlic, capsicum and parsley and it's actually a rather flavoursome and very summery dish.

On the side I had a shot at sweet potato chips. They didn't work spectacularly, but I didn't have high hopes - it's difficult to get them crispy! I just sliced the potato thinly and baked it in a bit of oil. The chips may have fared better if I'd been able to spread them out so they weren't overlapping - the few leftover ones worked nicely under the grill this way.

There was no leftover zucchini #1 to eat with the chips, but there was a bit of filling. It was just the thing for a toasted sandwich.

Fetta stuffed zucchini

1 massive zucchini (or 2-3 normal ones)
1 capsicum, chopped
3 cloves garlic
~80g fetta
1-2 tablespoons parsley, chopped roughly
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Slice the zucchini(s) in half lengthways and scoop out a hollow in each piece. I found it easiest to gently trace the borders of the hollow I wanted with a knife before digging in with a spoon. Set the zucchinis hollow-side-up on a flat oven tray. (Lightly grease the tray if you wish, but I don't think it's necessary.)

Roughly chop the zucchini innards. Heat a small amount of oil in a frypan and cook the zucchini innards and capsicum over medium heat. Add the garlic after a couple of minutes. When the capsicum has softened, transfer the veges to a bowl. Add pepper to taste, crumble in the fetta and stir in the parsley.

Gently pile the filling into the zucchini hollows. Sprinkle on the breadcrumbs if you want them, and drizzle on a teensy bit of olive oil if you feel like Jamie Oliver. Bake until the top has browned slightly and the zucchini is tender but still firm. (About 15 minutes, from memory.)


  1. looks delicious and nice colours too - I enjoy a bit of almond meal and breadcrumbs in my zucchini stuffing - tastes a bit like nutloaf which is always a good thing in my book :-)

  2. Mmmm, I can imagine some almond meal doing very well sprinkled on top! I know you like varied colour in your food, Johanna, and as I set down this meal I couldn't help thinking that the zucchinis would look pretty good on a Christmas table!

  3. Heh, I like the pen comparison next to the zuchs, they look positively gargantuan next to it!

    I've had a stuffed baked zucchini on my 'to make' list for years it seems, but whenever I get my zuchs they never last long enough for me to crack open the cookbook :/ I know you got these from a friend, but how difficult do you think growing these suckers would be?

    Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

  4. Ellie, the pen scale comparison must be my science background shining through again. :-P

    Unfortunately Michael and I don't have a green thumb between us, but my impression is that they're not too difficult to grow in the warmer months. Best of luck if you give it a go!

  5. Happy new year Cindy. I spent the weekend at my parents and they're suffering the same "problem". My mum made a great zucchini crumble. I'm pretty sure it was just thin slices of zucchini, topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs, parmesan and herbs. It was delicious.

  6. Mmmmm, Kathryn, I can just imagine that savoury golden brown topping coming out of the oven! I'll file that idea away for next time.

  7. Yum! With regard to the sweet potato chips, my gut feeling (not having attempted them) is that deep frying is probably necessary to get them crisp enough.:)

  8. That's not a bad theory, Duncan. For the sake of my waistline I have put a ban on deep-frying at home so I will have to leave that experiment to a leaner blogger than I. (Besides, I can't stand the cleanup...) :-)