I adore farmers markets. If I could do all of my grocery shopping at various farmers markets I would be elated. And probably a much healthier person.
Since being back in the U.S. the past few weeks, I have taken advantage of several beautiful farmers markets. From California to Colorado to Minnesota, I have reveled in the fresh colors, local pride and simplicity that can be found at almost any farmers market.
Living in Japan, as I have said before, does not provide any opportunity to visit anything like a traditional farmers market. While it is sad at the start of spring in Tokyo having no farmers markets in sight, it makes me appreciate the ability to attend them even more when I come home.
This recipe is one that combines the freshness of farmers market zucchini with pantry staples I had waiting to be used. The zucchini are lightly grilled, giving them beautiful grill marks and a slightly smoky flavor. The filling is light and healthy with plenty of crisp flavors from the tomatoes and basil along with the creamy tartness that comes from feta cheese. I added a little spice with a couple drops of hot sauce, which gives the filling a little heat.
This only took about 15 minutes to make. It makes a perfect light lunch or sidedish for a BBQ. So, stop by your local farmers market and support growers from your community! Go!
Tomato, basil and feta stuffed zucchini
Makes 4 servings
4 round zucchini (or the traditional longer zucchini, small/medium) halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
juice of 1 lemon
1 T lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles, plus extra for garnishing
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon worchershire sauce
salt and pepper
Prepare a grill to medium high heat.
After cutting the zucchini in half, if you are using round zucchini, cut a small piece off of the bottom to give the zucchini stability on the plate.
While the grill is heating up, put together the filling for the zucchini. In a medium bowl, add the drained tomatoes (VERY important that they are well drained so the mixture is not too watery), the basil, hot sauce, basil, feta cheese, lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine.
Place the zucchini, cut side down, on the grill. Don’t touch them! Let those beautiful grill marks develop! Let them sit for about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer the zucchini to a platter. Spoon about 1/4 cup ofthe filing into the center of each zucchini half. Sprinkle more feta cheese over the filling in each zucchini, then drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.