Summer Is Coming!
Lookee what I found at last week's farmer's market - a sure sign of summer! Zucchini already, despite the cold and the wet and the less-than-springlike weather around here.
While we were whining about the clouds and rain, the stalwart zucchinis just got on with the business of reproduction. Opened up those big golden flowers and said, "Why don't you come up some time and see me? You can be had."
I enjoy the novelty of these eightball zucchinis. They are nearly as big in my hand as a softball and are just asking to be stuffed. I obliged. I made a simple stuffing by sautéing together half a chopped onion, five or six coarsely chopped crimini mushrooms, one chopped spicy Italian sausage (this particular one was fully cooked - Fra'Mani) and fresh snipped thyme and oregano from the garden, plus all the little garlic budettes from one scape. It was just the right amount of stuffing for two of the zucchinis. I cut the tops off about 1/4 of the way down, scooped out the forming seeds and flesh with a spoon, leaving about a 1/4 inch thick shell, and piled in the stuffing.
Into a 350 degree F oven for about an hour or a tad more and they were ready. The bland zucchini tempered the spice of the sausages and the onion and mushrooms did their usual magic. If your zucchinis are big enough, this is easily a whole meal in itself with perhaps a bit of bread alongside, toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic. The best part of the meal, aside from the flavor, is the knowledge that summer really is on the way.