How to make affordable ingredients look fancy? Turn a zucchini into a holder (float!). I’ve always wanted to use zucchini as a container of some sort. Think fancy party with zucchini canapé. This is a really healthy and actually filling version. Looks fancy (at least I hope) and super filling.
All you need is one big pot to make the millet with tomato dish. It is simple in the sense that you can cook both the raw millet at the same time as the tomato base sauce. While the sauce is simmering away you can prepare the zucchini boat. The timing for this dish is great. It takes a bit longer to make this dish than any pasta dish on a weeknight. But it is really stress free to make them. Almost therapeutic to zone out and cook this after work. That was how the Husband and I felt while we were preparing the dish together
An important note while making this zucchini boat to that the cut side of the zucchini should be facing down on the pan and fill the pan with water till only half of the zucchini is submerged in water. Make sure to not drown the zucchini!
The parmesan is definitely optional for all our vegan readers. We had some leftover millets that did not fit into the boat. So the Husband and I ate it one its own. It was really good on its own. We happen to have bread that evening and oh my using the bread as a spoon the Husband and I were stuffing our faces with bread and millet tomato while the zucchini boat was in the oven. Needless to say we were almost full by the time dinner was ready. Whatever was left we both had it for lunch the following day.
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup millet (raw)
1 cup water
1 can (400g) chopped tomato
1 tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
4 medium sized zucchini, halved
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Prepare the vegetables. Wash and half zucchini. Set aside. Chop onion, garlic. In another pot on medium high heat, add 2 tbs oil, onion and garlic. Fry for about 30sec then add raw millet and tomato. Mix well and fry for another 30sec. Then add water, thyme, basil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to low. With the lid ajar let it simmer for about 20-30mins.
In the meantime, prepare the zucchini. In a shallow pan place zucchini flat (sliced) side down on the pan. Then add about 1/2 cup of water (till halve the zucchini is submerged in water) and turn heat on medium high. You could do the zucchini in batches if the pan is not big enough. All zucchini have to be touching bottom of the pan. Let it simmer till the zucchini is soft enough. Should take about 1-2mins.
When zucchini is soft, remove from pan and let it cool till zucchini are cool enough to handle. With a spoon scrap the soft ‘meat’ of the zucchini. Remove enough of it so that there is space for the millet.
Add the scrapped zucchini meat to the tomato millet mixture. Stir and mix well.
Preheat oven to 175 degree C (350 degree f).
Start filling the zucchini boat with millet when they millets are ready. ( Try it to make sure they are soft and done!)
Place the millet floats in a baking pan/ dish that is big enough to accommodate all the floats. Top with shredded parmesan ( you can skip this if you are vegan!) Drizzle with some olive oil.
Then place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10min till cheese has melted or till everything is warmed up if you skipped the cheese.
You could also have them with bread!