Zucchini boats are filled with a crunchy mixture of cauliflower “couscous” flavored with baby spinach and fresh herbs then topped with pine nuts.
Zucchini has become somewhat of a staple at mealtime here, which always seems to be the case around this time of year when they’re at their most plentiful.
And when they’re as fresh and tender as they have been, there’s no reason to even cook them. The slender ones have an especially creamy interior that make them the perfect candidates for being eaten raw.
These particular stuffed zucchini boats are filled with a crunchy mixture of raw spinach and cauliflower “couscous” dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. I throw in a good quantity of fresh mint, oregano, garlic and olives for a multitude of tastes and textures inspired by the Mediterranean along with some lemon zest for extra brightness and good measure.
It’s a simple dish with big flavors that comes together quickly, which is always welcome come dinnertime when you’re short on time. (The lengthiest part of the whole thing is the salting which helps to soften and tenderize the zucchini even further before stuffing so don’t skip it!) The filling can even be made ahead of time and the zucchini stuffed right before serving.
You can treat this as a side dish, a light lunch or cut them into bite-sized pieces for a party or picnic platter.
What’s your favorite way to eat zucchini this time of year?
These stuffed zucchini boats are filled with a crunchy mixture of raw spinach and cauliflower “couscous” dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and topped with pine nuts.
- 6 small to medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
- The zest of half a lemon
- The juice of one large lemon
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coarse sea salt
- ½ a medium sized head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves, thinly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 cup/45g black olives (like kalamata), pitted and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup/30g raw pine nuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted if desired for a nuttier taste (for a fully raw recipe use untoasted pine nuts)
- Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt evenly over the zucchini. Place the salted zucchini face down on a shallow dish and set aside for at least 15-20 minutes to drain.
- In the meantime make the filling. Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Place the cauliflower florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. (Don't over-process, you want a fluffy texture with grain-sized pieces)
- Add the chopped cauliflower, to the dressing and toss to combine. Add in the chopped spinach, finely chopped herbs and chopped black olives and toss again.
- Flip salted zucchini halves over and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Spoon cauliflower stuffing into each zucchini half, top with pine nuts and serve immediately.
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Raw
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 232mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 6g
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