Stuffed Round Zucchini by Elise Meyer

Serves 8

• 4 round zucchini (size of 8-ball)
• olive oil
• salt and pepper
• 2 red onions
• 2 peppers of your choice
• 4 cloves garlic
• fresh herbs as desired (parsley, basil, oregano)
• 1 large leek or a couple of scallions
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
• ½ cup bread crumbs or rice
• 1 cup fresh goat cheese
• ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
• 2 cups tomato or marinara sauce

1. Heat oven to 350 F.
2. Halve the squash and carefully scrape out the insides, leaving a shell of about ¼ inch all around. Chop up the remaining flesh and reserve.
3. Arrange the shells in a baking dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake about 45 minutes to soften.
4. Dice onions, peppers, garlic, herbs, and leek and sauté in olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add in reserved zucchini and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms give up their liquid. Stir in the bread crumbs or rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Stir in the goat cheese and set aside.
6. When zucchini shells are soft, remove from oven, and stuff with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese, and drizzle the tomato sauce around the squash.
7. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Contributed by Elise Meyer,