I love creating recipes, it’s the closest to being a kid with a chemical set you can be after you are legally able to drive.
My favorite recipes come out of any sort of challenge. In this case I found myself with a pack of chorizo that I had in the fridge for a while, and needed to use before its expiration date. I wanted something new, and that would balance the high caloric content in chorizo.
So how about a one-dish meal? That’s how this zucchini boats filled with rice and chorizo came about.
I keep a list of recipe ideas that I visit once in a while. Those are long-thought ones (like this rustic caramelized onion tart), which I started thinking of after my friend Amity came to visit last winter and treated us to a spectacular homemade french onion soup, a dish that she learned during the time she spent in France.
I love caramelized onions, but wanted something different with it, something a little more substantial than soup. After nearly a year of having written it in my “wish list” I decided to go ahead and see if I could make it work. Amazingly it worked the first time, and the second, and the third (by then I decided that the recipe worked indeed).
These zucchini boats filled with rice and chorizo are full of flavor, how can they not be with all that chorizo? The bright red of the chorizo transfers to the juicy, but firm rice, and the bits of vegetables and olives it add another dimension of textures and flavors. It’s a beautiful dish too, the green of the zucchini contrast nicely with the reds in the filling.
I can see myself serving this for guests, or bringing it to a potluck.
- 6 zucchini
- 1 lb [0.48 kg]of skinless chorizo (see notes)
- 1 cup of rice
- 3 cloves of garlic , crushed
- 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves
- 1/3 cup of pitted olives , sliced
- 1 red bell pepper , diced
- 1 1/2 cup of boiling-hot water
Halve the zucchini and using a melon baller or small spoon hollow them. Set everything aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and brown. Remove excess fat.
Add the zucchini centers that you had previously removed. Also add garlic, thyme, olives and bell pepper, cook and stir for a minute.
Add the rice and mix well.
Pour in the hot water and simmer until nearly all the liquid has evaporated (not all).
Remove from the heat and spoon the rice into the zucchini shells.
Heat the oven to 350 ºF [145 ºC].
Place the boats in a baking pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.
Serve warm with salad of your choice.