Thin strips of zucchini substitute for filo pastry that wraps up around a mushroom-walnut “meaty” filling, and make an easy, elegant vegetarian dish. The stuffed zucchini envelopes top garden-fresh plum tomatoes to bake up into a satisfying fall dinner.
Zucchini “Envelope” Ingredients
2 large zucchinis 10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (minced) 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Salt & pepper to taste 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
“Meaty” Filling Ingredients 3/4 package medium firm tofu, drained and crumbled 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 red onion, finely diced 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 2 cups cremini mushrooms, finely chopped 1 egg 1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs 1/2 cup fresh carrot, grated 2 cloves garlic, minced Dashes cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Directions – Filling: In a skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onion and mushrooms and cook 5-7 minutes until mushrooms are lightly caramelized and onion translucent. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute until fragrant. Transfer to a deep bowl, add the tofu, carrot, egg, cayenne, soy sauce and mustard. Pulse with hand blender to combine. Add bread crumbs and walnuts and stir to combine. Set aside.
Directions – Zucchini Filo: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use a mandolin, vegetable peeler or cheese slicer to make very thin lengthwise slices down the entire length of the zucchini, (making them as wide as possible). On a chopping board, lay the ribbons flat, and pat them to make dry with a dish towel. Lay 2 zucchini slices lengthwise, side-by-side and slightly overlapping, then top with 2 more ribbons crosswise and slightly overlapping, to make a cross. Spoon a heaping spoonful of the meat mixture into the middle of the zucchini cross. Tightly fold the zucchini over the meat mixture one slice at a time, alternating between the crosswise strips and the lengthwise strips, so you end up with a zucchini square. Repeat with all zucchini slices and meat filling. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Directions – Tomato Base: Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt & pepper. Arrange them cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Bake until soft, 15-20 minutes. Then layer tomatoes in a casserole dish, cut side up, sprinkle with the herbs. And using a spatula, place the zucchini squares overtop of them. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 30 minutes, until zucchini envelopes are translucent and slightly golden.