Although most of us are dieting this month, just remember that you don’t have to eat soup for the next 30 days. And, diets don’t have to be boring either. By now, you all know that my vegetables are loaded with good ingredients and great flavors.
This recipe requires fresh zucchini, onions, tomatoes and oregano. When combined with tuna, you’ve created Zucchini-Tuna Boats which taste heavenly! You can make these ahead and keep them refrigerated up to four days.
Prep time: 30 minutes (for stuffing) & 30 minutes (for baking)
Makes: 6 servings (2 pieces each)
6 light green variety zucchini, tips removed and discarded
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons (for coating baking dish)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (white or brown)
5 cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes (chopped into 1/4-inch pieces)
Two 5-ounce cans light tuna* in oil, drained and oil discarded
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried oregano can be substituted)
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Prepare the Stuffing:
1. Using a long knife and working on a cutting board, cut each zucchini in half, lengthwise; set aside.
2. With the tip of the knife, cut all around the inside of the zucchini-half (1/8-inch inside rim) and gently scoop out the flesh; set flesh aside in a bowl.
3. Continue scooping out the zucchini flesh with remaining zucchini halves; set aside.
4. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high setting.
5. When oil is hot, add the chopped onion and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is translucent.
6. When onion is translucent, add 2 cups of the chopped tomatoes and stir-fry on medium-high setting for about 3 to 4 minutes or just until the tomato begins drying out (do not let it dry out completely).
7. After 3 to 4 minutes, stir in the drained tuna.
8. Stir-fry the tuna-tomato mixture for about 3 to 4 minutes or until it looks amalgamated and not so runny.
9. Add the oregano, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
10. Set the tuna-tomato mixture aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
Fill the Zucchini Boats:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Lightly coat a 12 X 16-inch rectangular baking dish with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil.
3. Spread 2 cups chopped tomatoes over the olive oil in baking dish; lightly sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Set aside.
4. Divide the tuna-tomato mixture evenly among the 12 zucchini boats.
5. As you fill the boats, place them, side-by-side in baking dish.
6. When all zucchini boats have been stuffed, spread the remaining 1 cup chopped tomatoes over stuffed zucchini boats.
7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the Zucchini-Tuna Boats for about 25 to 30 minutes.
8. Serve the Zucchini-Tuna Boats immediately or at room temperature.
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real
*NOTE: If using albacore white tuna, the filling will become dry.