Zucchini Boats With Ricotta-Basil Mousse
Use the fragrant cheese stuffing with any mild vegetable, such as bell peppers, mushroom caps, baby eggplant or tomatoes. Save the scooped-out zucchini pulp for risotto or pasta sauce. You can use a mini chopper to chop the herbs quickly, but do not use it to combine the mousse ingredients because it will liquefy the ricotta.
6 small zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or other hard cheese
2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Parsley sprigs (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Reserve pulp for another use. Arrange zucchini shells in a single layer in a 13 by 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Combine basil and next 7 ingredients (through pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Divide mixture evenly among shells, pressing gently. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Yield: 12 servings.