- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 20 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4 FIRST-COURSE SERVINGS
- 4 round zucchini (10 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 small zucchini (6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup diced ham (2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup cooked basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1/4 cup packed fresh bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off the tops of the round zucchini and discard them. Using a small spoon, scrape out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick wall. Coarsely chop the flesh and squeeze dry.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the diced zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until barely tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic, tomato and scraped out zucchini flesh and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add to the bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Stir in the ham, rice, parsley and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Season the zucchini cups with salt and pepper and brush the outside with olive oil. In a small bowl, rub the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Mound the stuffing in the cups and top with the crumbs. Set the zucchini on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender and heated through. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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