Recipe by Vino Girl
I love summer squash with tomato sauce and Italian herbs, and this healthy vegetarian/vegan dish is so simple to prepare, very filling and delicious. It comes from vegetarian.about.com, and I didn't change too much about it. Originally it called for fresh herbs, but I really don't like using fresh herbs in the crock pot, so I used dried instead, and then just threw a few fresh leaves on top before serving. The toasted pine nuts add a lot to this - I don't recommend omitting them. I was worried about the squash falling apart since I had to leave it in the crock pot well past the suggested cooking time - 9 hours - so I wrapped the zucchini halves in foil before putting them in. It worked great - the squash was very soft, but still together, and the rice was not overcooked at all. The original recipe says it serves four, but I think as a main course it is perfect for two. Putting a little dairy or soy mozzarella or Parmesan on top before serving is nice. This just needs a green salad and maybe some bread to complete the meal. The filling would also probably be great inside bell peppers.
Top Review by SmoochTheCook
I'm so incredibly pleased to be able to come back on here and rate this a 5!!! I did change things somewhat due to what I had on hand. My zucchini was a HUGE zucchini, so I sliced it and used only 1/2. I didn't use the red wine vinegar for personal reasons and didn't have any pine nuts to use. I did use the motz. and parm topping which are loved here. My folks really enjoyed it and my son, well, I knew he wouldn't because he's suddenly developed an attitute about squash. LOL! Thanks so much!
- 1 medium zucchini or 1 medium summer squash, halved lengthwise, with seeds removed
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1⁄4 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- fresh parsley (optional)
- fresh basil (optional)
- mozzarella cheese (optional) or soy mozzarella cheese (optional)
- parmesan cheese (optional) or vegan parmesan cheese (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- To toast pine nuts, place them in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden or about 5 minutes.
- Place the zucchini halves in the bottom of an oval shaped slow cooker.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the tomato sauce and vinegar.
- In another small bowl, combine the onions, garlic, rice, parsley, basil, pepper, along with 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce-vinegar mixture.
- Fill the zucchini halves with the rice mixture.
- Top with the remaining tomato sauce-vinegar mixture.
- Cover and cook on LOW until the rice is tender, 4 to 6 hours.
- Garnish with the pine nuts, fresh herbs, and cheese.
- Makes 2 main dish servings or 4 side dish servings.