Chorizo Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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“I’m not ready for summer to end,” I confessed to a dear friend the other night in a text message. Though the warm weather remains, the spirit of it feels fleeting.

In my mind, winter is all too close. (There’s a joke in here somewhere about this — it’s only being my second year here, after all.)

Kids, including mine, have returned to school. There’s more structure to our days, and less of the feeling that we could just pick up and hit the beach — just because. And evenings? I can no longer justify late nights at the drive-in or getting ice cream by saying ‘it’s summer!’. No, my kids need their bedtime to be constant again so they are fresh for their school days.

Still, the tug-o-war between wanting my kids to enjoy life and needing to provide structure is real. But the responsible side of me ultimately wins out. Every time.

But as much as I wish there could be more time for spontaneous nights and warm weather weekend adventures, it’s been a good summer. One where so many wonderful memories were created.

This summer has been one of discovery and excitement. It’s been of new experiences, goal realizing and being open to new possibilities. And it’s been one of laughter and joy.

We’ve played countless games. We’ve welcomed special new people into our lives who make life a little more fun. We’ve visited lakes and beaches. Watched Jurassic World at the Bangor Drive-In, and hiked to the top of Gorham Mountain. Last week, we spent the evening with Penobscot Theatre Company for their Scenes and Songs preview of their upcoming theater season. And we’ve sampled ice cream flavors from Belfast to Bangor.

This past weekend, we also did something that seems quintessential Bangor: We went to the American Folk Festival for the first (and second) time. From the dance tent where my daughter kicked her heels up in a tireless dance to The Red Trouser Show that debuted this year, we discovered why people love it so much.

Soon, soccer will start for the kids. Homework will fill our evenings. And, if we’re being very honest, it won’t be long before the excitement of school starting wears off and the kids start dragging their feet in the mornings, wanting a little more sleep, a little more breakfast time, a little more anything-but-catching-the-bus time.

While summer remains — if only in season, not spirit — we’re not done yet. There’s still a little more time to enjoy whenever our days allow. The Common Ground Fair, which we also missed last year, is coming up later this month. The farmers markets are in full swing with everything from fresh zucchini and tomatoes to corn, potatoes and more. We’ll eat as much fresh veggies and fruits as we can in the coming weeks. And hopefully there’s still time somewhere to hit the beach a few more times, and to hike our favorite trails at Acadia again.

And there will be more ice cream. Because as fleeting as summer feels, it’s not done just yet. Even if we won’t be running out for it at bedtime anymore.

As that same friend told me, we need to find our new rhythm now … whatever that is. Because there’s no reason the joy of summer cannot carry in some ways into the fall.

Chorizo Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Did I mention that we’re still enjoying the farmers markets? Because we are. I was so excited a few weeks ago to find tomatoes there. And now, they are getting even more plentiful. You can bet we’ll be eating tons of tomatoes while we can.

Recently, I also picked up some zucchini, beef chorizo, onions and other goodies from the Bangor Farmers Market. Those became the basis for this fabulous fall dish.

Chorizo Stuffed Zucchini

This recipe for zesty Chorizo Stuffed Zucchini Boats, takes about 45 minutes to make, but is worth every minute. The flavorful filling is delicious inside the tender baked zucchini. Make this a meal by serving it with a big salad — and perhaps some bread from the farmers market too.

What are you cooking from the farmers market these days? Share in the comments!

Chorizo Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Author: 
Serves: serves 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb chorizo, removed from casings
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat on the stove. Add the chorizo and brown thoroughly. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Scoop out the flesh of the zucchini, leaving a boat-shaped shell. Spoon the chorizo mixture into the opening, pressing it down and mounding to fit as much filling as you can. If you are using smaller zucchini, you might need three to use all the filling.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

 

Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News, and resident cook. She writes a cooking column, Maine Course, and is also author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains." Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, Glamour.com and more.