Mediterranean Zucchini Boat

By Vanessa Gianfrancesco
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SERVES
4
 TO
6
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • 6 zucchini
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500 grams ground lean pork meat
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup walnuts, crumbled
  • 1 cup fontina cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a spoon scoop out the center and discard.
  2. In a saute pan on medium high heat warm the olive oil. Add in the pork meat, fennel seeds, chilli flakes, garlic, salt, pepper. Cook through, then deglaze with wine. Fold in the spinach leaves, lemon zest and walnuts. Set to the side. Once slightly cooled add in the cheese and reserve a little to top the zucchini at the end.
  3. On a parchment lined baking sheet align the zucchini. Season with olive oil salt and pepper. Add in the stuffing and top with the fontina cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees and cook for 15-17 minutes until the zucchini are cooked through and the cheese is melted.

Owen Reeves’ tips for growing carrots

  • A great beginner crop, can be grown in containers but are generally best in large raised beds or the ground. They're best grown in soils that are on the sandy side and they don't like too much compost - it makes the roots hairy.
  • Grow from seed, sow them very shallow in the soil in rows about 18 inches apart. To keep them moist while germinating, cover them with a layer of burlap and water lightly each day. Uncover them once they start to grow.
  • Thin the plants (pull out the baby plants that are too close together before they start to grow large) according to package directions. For baby carrots, less thinning is required. Alternately, looks for carrots on seed tape instead of loose packages to eliminate the need for thinning.
  • Carrots are forgiving on watering, but try to keep them regularly watered for good flavour. Fertilizing is usually not needed, but an organic liquid fertilizer is helpful mid-season for an extra boost.
  • Loosen the soil with a fork to help with harvesting.
     

Owen Reeves’ tips for growing zucchini (and other summer squash)

  • Best grown in full sun, from seed or from plants at the garden centre. They fairly broad plants and need either a large, deep container, a raised bed or in ground. If grown in containers, replace the soil every year to avoid disease issues.
  • Pick an open, breezy area where possible to reduce leaf fungus, which is very common for Summer Squash.
  • Water regularly, avoid wetting the leaves, and morning watering is by far the best time.
  • To improve fruit set, brush the inside of each flower with a soft paint brush. Encouraging bees into the garden will help with this. Male flowers (look online for visual) are a delicacy, especially for Italians, and can be battered and deep fried. Only the female flowers produce fruit.
  • Increase watering when fruit is developing, but harvest promptly - they fruit grows very quickly and can double in size in a couple of days.
  • If leaf disease develops (usually mildew on leaves) treat promptly and water very carefully to avoid wetting leaves

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