Sick of mushy zucchini? Turn on your grill (or oven), print this farro mushroom bacon kale stuffed zucchini recipe, and make your way to Tender-Crisp Town!
Calling all zucchini lovers: this is your next stuffed zucchini recipe, because farro mushroom bacon kale stuffed zucchini, you feeling me? Calling all those who think stuffed zucchini is mushy: it’s so completely not! Or at the very least, it doesn’t have to be. Can zucchini become mushy when it’s cooked too long? Yes, been there, done that, guilty as charged. But so can broccoli, carrots, asparagus, and basically any other vegetable.
But the moisture! What about all that d@mn moisture? We can take care of that too. Full disclosure: I’m a zucchini-loving fool when cooked right, but I’m also a zucchini-cursing fool when we enter mush territory. So, once I find the golden ticket to tender-crisp town, I do not look back. I just keep dreaming up more and more ways to stuff these perfect crisp-tender veggie vessels, because really, the stuffing is the star here.
And this stuffing is a Mary Katherine Gallagher-sized superstar. It’s basically like a risotto, but since we’re using farro, and farro does not release starch like rice, there is no need to constantly monitor and stir. It’s an earthy, smoky superstar that’s a bit nutty and oh-so rich. I couldn’t stop eating it before scooping into those perfect crisp-tender veggie vessels, which is OK, because the recipe makes a good deal of stuffing. Because zucchinis range in size, I wanted to make sure the recipe made more than enough. If you have plenty leftover, it reheats really well, so you’re well on your way to another delicious meal later in the week.
But the stuffing, no matter how big a superstar, will not shine as bright if it’s wrapped in a mushy mess. So, let’s all take a trip to tender-crisp town and never look back.
Directions to Tender-Crisp Town
First Stop: Choosing Zucchini
Choose firm zucchini that are on the smaller side. If all you have is large zucchini because you failed to remove it from garden like this girl often does, that’s cool too! We’re removing those pesky seeds and some of the flesh, so it still works. Plus, fresh trumps size in my book any day. If you’re buying zucchini at the supermarket or farmer’s market, look for prickly hairs on the stem, as they are a sure sign of freshness.
Second Stop: Scooping
Once you’ve halved your zucchini, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and flesh so the walls are about 1/4-inch thick. This not only helps with texture, but also seems to be a great filling-to-zucchini ratio. Toss the seeds and flesh in your favorite muffin recipe, the compost pile, or like we do: give it to your chickens!
Third Stop: Salt
Sprinkle hollowed-out zucchini boats with salt and allow to drain in a colander. Salting the zucchini helps draw out some of the moisture. Blot with paper towel right before grilling or baking to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
Fourth Stop: Grill (or Bake) Before Stuffing
Grill (or bake) empty zucchini boats cut-side down. This way the zucchini starts to cook but some moisture will be evaporated. Then, just fill her up and allow the zucchini to finish cooking as everything heats up and comes together.
Final Destination: Crisp-Tender Town
You’ve reached your final destination, whoop! We’re so glad you’re here. Kick up your feet and have a glass of wine. Pat yourself on the back, relax, stay awhile, and enjoy your delicious farro mushroom bacon kale stuffed zucchini creation, you magical creature, you.