Take your Lil’ Chef on an adventure to a local farmer’s market and find wonderful fresh vegetables this time of year. It’s a great opportunity to talk about where food comes from, and how important it is to support our local farming community. Even better, find a local farm and take them on a trip to pick their own vegetables and fruits.
This recipe is awesome! Zucchini stuffed with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil make a fresh summer side dish. For the nicest presentation, use long, relatively skinny zucchini.
2 medium 2-inch-wide zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1. Trim both ends off zucchini; cut in half lengthwise. Cut a thin slice off the backs so each half sits flat. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Finely chop the pulp; set aside.
2. Place the zucchini halves in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and microwave on High until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, steam in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large skillet or pot.)
3. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes, cheese, basil and the reserved zucchini pulp; toss to combine. Divide the filling among the zu-canoes.
Susan Caldwell is the mom of two in Raleigh and owner of cooking studios for kids and teens, including Lil' Chef in North Hills. Go Ask Mom features recipes every Friday. Check WRAL.com's database for more.