Friday, March 5, 2010

Vegetable-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Since I don’t cook with eggplant (which is tricky to do in an Armenian kitchen), I use zucchini in it’s place. Needless to say, I buy a LOT of zucchini! Here’s my take on the meatless Imam Bayeldi recipe. Even without the eggplant,  it tastes mighty good!

Vegetable-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
(Serves 4 as an entree; 8 as a side dish)

4 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 large red or yellow bell peppers, seeds removed, and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1- 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
½ bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste or red pepper paste (or a combination of the two)
1/4 cup pine nuts
olive oil
salt, pepper and ground coriander, to taste
 1/2 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

2. Slice each large zucchini in half lengthwise.

3. Scoop out the insides of each zucchini half; chop and set aside. Leave about 1/4 inch of zucchini “flesh” to create a canoe shape . Place the empty zucchini boats in the lined roasting pan.

4. In a large skillet, saute the chopped inner flesh of the zucchini, onions and peppers in about 3 Tbsp. olive oil until soft, but not brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic; cook 2 more minutes.

5. Add the drained tomatoes, parsley, basil; cook 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and coriander to taste.

6. In a small bowl, combine the reserved tomato liquid with the 2 Tbsp. of paste until smooth. Add to vegetables; cook until liquid is a bit thickened and somewhat reduced. Add pine nuts.

7. Season with additional salt, pepper and ground coriander, if desired.

8.. Divide the vegetable mixture to fill each boat. Add about ½ cup water to bottom of pan; this will create steam to aid in the cooking process.

9. Cover pan with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with your favorite pilaf recipe!


  1. I am not a big fan of zucchini, but these look pretty good! Thanks for providing a great variation for me to try!

  2. This looks so delicious! A little heathier than most recipes I see since there are no bread crumbs.

  3. Thanks, Ara and Bo. This is for sure a healthy recipe. Try it and let me know what you think.

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