Meeta made her monthly mingle more interesting by making “Take Two” as the theme for this month. She wants us to make a dish with Zucchini and Sage.
To be honest, I have never cooked with sage and was always under the impression that it is used only in poultry dishes (Food TV knowledge). I learnt from my research on sage that it is slightly bitter in flavor and highly aromatic and it enhances meats and poultry and is delicious if used discreetly with beans, cheese, lentils and in stuffings. Even after all this research, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make a dish with zucchini AND sage (thought about making soup.. but I wasn’t sure if it has to be tomato base or roux base).
Finally I decided on making stuffed zucchini (inspired by this recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini site). To be on the safe side I stuffed only one zucchini, in case this didn’t turn out too good, I can still make my soup with the back up zucchini. Luckily I didnt have to use my back up.
Zucchini – 1, cut lengthwise and halved
Quinoa* – ½ cup cooked
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Red bell pepper – 1 small, finely chopped
Sage – 1tbsp (fresh or ½ tbsp dry)
Cheddar cheese/ Pepper Jack cheese – ¼ cup
Salt and Pepper – to taste
Tomato paste – 3 tbsp
Onion – 1 small chopped
Sage – 1tsp
Garlic – 1 clove
Salt and Pepper – to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
- Gently scoop out the flesh of the zucchini with a spoon and roughly chop the flesh. Lightly season hulled zucchini with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a pan; add the onions, red pepper, zucchini and sage. Cook till the veggies soften for about 10 minutes.
- Add cooked quinoa, salt and pepper; cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
- In the mean time make the tomato-sage sauce; heat 1tsp olive oil in a sauce pan, add the onions, crushed garlic & sage and sauté till light brown. Add the tomato paste, 1cup of water, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes on low flame. Remove from heat and keep aside.
- Mound the quinoa-sage mixture in zucchini quarters and sprinkle with cheese evenly.
- Spread 2 tbsp of tomato sauce evenly in a baking pan, arrange the zucchini in a single layer, cover with foil and bake oven for about 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender and the cheese melted.
- Serve warm with more sauce on the top.
As far as sage is concerned, it has a strong flavor that reminded me of biting into raw turmeric, but it complemented my dish without overpowering it.
Ok then.. let me send this dish to Meeta and I’m dying to see what all of you guys have created with Zucchini AND Sage.
*Quinoa ((pronounced "keen-wa") is a super grain, unlike other grains, quinoa is a complete protein because it contains all eight essential amino acids. It is a excellent source of calcium, potassium and zinc as well as iron, magnesium and B vitamins.It has a mild, slightly bitter taste and firm texture. Grains quadruple in size after cooking and become translucent with an unusual white outer ring.
Note: You can substitute quinoa with brown rice.