November 16, 2008

Zucchini Stuffed with Mushrooms

Zucchini Stuffed with Mushrooms

I hesitated to make this recipe, since I'm not so crazy about mushrooms...but I do LOVE zucchini. I figured the mushrooms wouldn't take the flavor forefront in the recipe, as they were mixed with bread crumbs, olives, pine nuts, basil, parmesan, and Trader Joe's FABULOUS Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto. A few pulses in the blender provided a nice filling for the hollowed-out zucchini halves, which then baked for almost an hour.

What I got on my first bite was an overwhelming saltiness and a strange taste of...paint. Oh no, the pine nuts ruined the recipe!!!! The jury is still out on pine nuts...the small, crunchy seeds used in many Italian recipes. If you are going to use them, use them as FRESH as possible. The ones I used had sat in my kitchen for probably a few months. I did notice a slight sour smell when I opened the bag, but I figured it would sure enough cook off during baking, and the smell would not be pungent once mixed with the other ingredients. But I was wrong. The smell/taste of rancidity seemed to get worse after cooking. And then I found this:

"Unshelled pine nuts have a long shelf life if kept dry and refrigerated (at –5 to +2 °C); shelled nuts (and unshelled nuts in warm conditions) deteriorate rapidly, becoming rancid within a few weeks or even days in warm humid conditions." (thanks Wikipedia)

So, my pine nuts ruined the recipe. But now that I had extra zucchini and that wonderful pesto...

Zucchini Stuffed with Mushrooms 2

...voila, a delicious dinner arose from the ashes. George Foreman-grilled and lightly garlic-salted and peppered zucchini slices, spread with sun-dried tomato pesto, and sprinkled with Parmesan.

Make again? MAYBE...I'd give my delicious zucchini and pesto another chance.

Zucchini Stuffed with Mushrooms
Vegetarian Times, October 2005

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