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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Zucchinis and Eggplants and Grapes…Oh My!

Posted: August 16, 2006
by: Mark Stine

Having grown up with gardens as a child, filled with assorted vegetable plants, I always recognized August as a month when it seemed the whole world had been taken over by zucchini and eggplants.

Tomatoes were my favorite, sometimes eaten fresh and warm from the garden, with a little salt for added flavor. But it was the zucchini and eggplants that seemed to be everywhere. First off, the vines would be taking over the rest of the garden space and their orange blossoms were the precursors to zucchini in varying lengths that ultimately were lying about everywhere.

What with the warm summer temperatures and abundant rainfall in southern Ohio summers, the size seemed to double over night. At a certain point they became so large, that it was problematic as to what to do with them. Well that solution was solved when my Dad introduced the zucchini boat to us. No, “Zucchini Boats” weren’t something you floated in, like the giant pumpkins that people hollow out and try to sail on cold October mornings for the morning news. No, these were an edible version of a boat and here is how to make your own:

Zucchini Boats…The Edible Kind  Zucchini

One giant Zucchini (preferably about  18 inches or more: the bigger and fatter the better)

Slice very carefully in half-lengthwise

Scoop out shallowly any seedy content- leaving you with firm zucchini flesh

Fill a shallow pan with water and place the zucchini in them

Bake on 350 for awhile (45 minutes)…till the insides become sorta tender

Remove from oven

In the interim:

Lightly Brown some ground beef, turkey or buffalo with some diced onions (ostrich if you are into the exotic)

Place the browned ground into the scooped out areas of the zucchini boats

Layer thinly sliced tomatoes on top

Top with your favorite cheese (pepper jack- mozzarella –cheddar)

Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper

Tent with aluminum foil…bake for another 15-20 minutes

When ready…slice the width dependent on the appetite of your guests

And Grilled Eggplant  Eggplant

While that is happening…take some eggplants from the garden…slice

Sprinkle with salt…blot after 5 minutes

Drizzle with olive oil ..sprinkle with sea salt….and splash with a few  crushed red peppers

Place on grill and cook until tender to your fork

You now have a colorful summertime meal with late summer bounty out of your own garden…the best of summer! Now sit back, enjoy your meal and take a sip from a wine from some of those nice grapes, that you let someone else grow!  Pinot Grigio anyone?

Your Comments

Nothing like a large, stuffed Zucchini to remind you of summer. I make them with a sicilian family recipe. Since you can't find them in the store, must ask friends to grow them a few extra days to get the perfect size. It's rare that anyone does stuffed Zuchs. Thanks for this posting.

Posted by: Drew at Oct 30, 2006 11:19:53 AM