Zucchini is looking better and better at the store and markets. I was really tempted by the itty bitty little ones – about the size of a small pickle – but then I saw the diced prosciutto nearby and knew I needed to get the big ones. Here’s the thing – Big D is not a zucchini lover. Yellow squash? Yes. Acorn squash? Yes. Zucchini? Well, um, I guess. I figured if I topped it with meat and cheese it might work. It pretty much did. I know. I rule. Although I have made these many times with a variety of stuffings, I always cooked them up in a baking dish. Since our kitchen is still sparsely populated I had to adjust the baking dish pan approach, since we don’t have one yet, and made a little aluminum foil pocket for each zucchini half. They baked up nicely sitting in the foil directly on the stove rack. I am looking forward to late summer when those huge zucchini come around in the farmers markets and I can really beef up the stuffing and make a main course of it. For now, I relish the smaller, more delicate fare.
2 medium zucchini, as straight as you can find
4 small garlic cloves
1 cup diced prosciutto or cured ham
1 cup shredded monterrey jack cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F. Slice ends off zucchini, then cut them in half lengthwise. With a small spoon gently carve out the seedy belly (heh) of the halves, stopping about ½ inch from the ends, making a groove down the middle. Sprinkle each half with salt and pepper. Slice garlic cloves into slivers and spread a clove in each half. Divide prosciutto among the halves, then top with cheese. Place zucchini in baking dish with a little space between them. Bake for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the zucchini, until tender and cheese begins to brown. Serve immediately.