This is a great way to use up zucchini from your garden and is an easy recipe for vegetarians. I made it recently for lunch, but it would also make a great first course for dinner. This will serve two as a main course, or four as an appetizer. You can easily double the ingredients.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 zucchini (about 8 ounces each) halved lengthwise
Sea salt and pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, cored, seeded and diced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded - about 3 ounces (reserving ¼ cup)
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
1. Adjust rack to upper-middle position, place a rimmed baking sheet on rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Using a small spoon, scoop the seeds from the zucchini halves. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil over cut side of zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place zucchini halves, cut side down, on hot baking sheet. Roast until slightly softened, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and flip zucchini halves over and set baking sheet aside while preparing filling.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add panko and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook panko, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer panko to a small bowl and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in wiped skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and cook until softened 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add beans, tomato, oregano and pepper flakes and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
5. Off heat stir in ½ cup shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide filling evenly among squash halves and pack lightly. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese and then cover each with toasted bread crumbs. Return pan to oven, and bake stuffed zucchini until heated through, about 6 minutes.