Zucchini Boats with Cheesy-Basil Mousse

Growing up, zucchini was one of those foods that fell in the “yucky green vegetable” category. Had these appeared before me at age 5, I might have reconsidered my feelings on zucchini.

The herbed cheesy filling compliments the sweetness of the baked zucchini. But be careful not to over cook these boats, or they’ll sink under the weight of of their creamy filling.

Ingredients:

  • 6 small zucchini
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp with a small spoon, leaving a 1/4 inch shell. You can save the pulp for another use (good in pasta sauce, or oddly enough on nachos).

2. Arrange the shells in a single layer on a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Chop your fresh herbs and combine all ingredients through the black pepper in a small bowl. You can use a small food processor, if you have one, but fight the temptation to use it to combine all the ingredients as it will throw off the texture of your mousse.

4. Fill the zucchini boats with the mousse and bake for 20 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Serve with grilled chicken and a side of whole grains for a healthy balanced meal!

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