One evening while poking around the linen closet I found a mummified slice of zucchini under a stack of beach towels. I believe the unusual disposal of an unwanted vegetable was originally blamed on my older daughter Elizabeth But last week, her younger sister owned up as the perpetrator. Apparently she found the poor zucchini unpalatable and was too young to have developed the more sophisticated system of flushing it down the toilet, so she hid it.
No disciplinary measures will be taken as I believe there is a statute of limitations on these things.
Now they are grown and live in apartments with lots of closet space in which to deposit unsatisfactory vegetables. But if they do drop by for dinner, I like to dress up the zucchini just a little to preempt further misdemeanors. This recipe is very easy and adds instant appeal to what some consider an otherwise boring vegetable.
If I ever find this amongst my linens I will be very surprised.
2 medium zucchini
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigian0-Reggiano, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425º F.
Trim the ends off the zucchini. Cut each in half lengthwise. Score the center pulp of the zucchini and then scoop it out with a teaspoon, leaving a shell about ¼ inch thick. Place the pulp in a bowl. Add half the cheese, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper, the walnuts and thyme leaves and mix well.
Fill the cavities of the zucchini with the filling. Sprinkle each with an equal amount of read crumbs. Sprinkle again with a little salt and pepper and drizzle a half teaspoon of oil over each. Sprinkle each piece with some of the remaining cheese.
Place the zucchini pieces on a baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes, until the zucchini is tender and the topping is crispy.
Let cool briefly and serve.