I know what you’re thinking, canned tuna? Stuffed in zucchini? This can’t be worth making unless you happen to have leftover zucchini and canned tuna you don’t know what to do with. Even when my mother said she tried this recipe years ago and highly recommended it, I was skeptical. It really is delicious though…no really. Garlic is cooked with the zucchini flesh, mixed with tuna and parsley, then kept moist by soaked bread (what? Bread soaked in water doesn’t sound appetizing? Well once you see how moist it keeps the filling, it just might be). Baked in a mushroom tomato sauce until the zucchini is soft, all of the elements come together in this bright clean tasting dish. You could use fresh tuna, but why bother when canned tuna does such a terrific job that after the zucchini is baked, it tastes a lot like Tilapia or any mild fish. With little carbs and little fat but both protein and vegetables, this is also a perfect dish for the supposedly “healthy” month of January.
Other than converting the size of the zucchini and canned tuna, I really didn’t need to change much in this recipe. Of course, a little sprinkle of Parmesan on top never hurt anyone… but this dish is perfectly tasty as is.
3 medium zucchini
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 slices bread, soaked in water, then squeezed dry and crumbled
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 can (5oz) tuna, mashed
1/2 pound small white button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups tomato puree or sauce
grape tomatoes (optional)
Cut zucchini into 2 inch pieces. Scoop out centers using a sharp knife or melon baller. Chop zucchini centers coarsely. Mix bread, tuna, parsley, and pepper.
Combine zucchini centers with garlic and saute in half the oil till soft. Combine with tuna mixture.
Sautee mushrooms in remaining oil until soft. Add tomato puree/sauce, a little salt and stock. Simmer 15 minutes.
Stuff zucchini shells with tuna fish combination. Place into tomato puree mixture.
Bake until zucchini are very tender. Top with half a grape tomato, if using.
From “The Art of Good Cooking,” by Paula Peck. Adapted by Megan Peck.