by Amanda Mattos
The Bloomingdale Farmers’ Market, recently made famous by NPR, is my food source of choice all summer long. Mostly because it’s 4 blocks from my front door. But also because local food is environmentally responsible, fresh and delicious! Duh. Without fail, some kindly neighbor will be inspired by what they find at the market and invite a bunch of folks over for an impromptu brunch or dinner. This weekend my kitchen was ground zero for our BFM dinner. I tried my hand at revamping a childhood favorite of mine: stuffed zucchini.
Photos by Catherine Andrews.
Between the market and my pantry, I had everything I needed for the main course. I got pork sausage and red spring onions from Truck Patch Farms, feta de provencal from Keswick Creamery, and zucchinis from… the farm at the end of the market whose name I’m blanking on right now.
- 4-6 zucchinis
- 4 links or so pork sausage, broken up
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- olive oil as needed
Preheat your oven to 350.
First, set a big pot of water to boil. Boil the zucchinis for about 10 minutes — just until soft enough to slice and scoop out the insides, leaving the shells in tact. Save the stuff you scoop out — you’ll use that for the stuffing. Place the shells in a casserole and set aside.
At the same time, heat a big sautee pan. Give it a little bit of oil to start off with, but your sausage will produce enough fat on its own to carry most of the weight. Toss in your onion and garlic, and break the sausage up into the pan. Satuee until just browned.
Add the sausage sautee to the zucchini guts, (I don’t know a better way to say that, sorry for it sounding gross. Actually, no I’m not. I think it’s kind of funny to type “zucchini guts.”), along with the bread crumbs and feta. Mix all together till everything’s integrated. Re-stuff the zucchini shells with the mixture, and drizzle a with a little bit of olive oil. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until crusty and brown on top.
We had a farmers market salad (fresh truck patch greens and radishes, and a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, capers and anchovies), mac ‘n cheese and cherry cobbler made by Catherine, and sangria. Lots and lots of sangria. The stuffed zucchini was really simple and really satisfying. The fresh ingredients made a big difference in keeping the ingredient list short; if you don’t have things that have that much flavor on their own (like cheaper feta or unseasoned sausage), you might want to doctor it up a bit with some fresh herbs or salt/pepper.