Half a 5-8 pound zucchini (you know, the giant one you have in your garden with which you don't know what you're going to do), cut lengthwise
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. thyme
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cups diced French bread cubes
1 package (12 oz. or so) frozen Swiss chard
1/2 cup lightly packed parsley
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Additional shredded Parmesan cheese
Scoop soft, seedy center from zucchini half and discard. Score flesh in 1 inch squares, cutting halfway through to the outer skin. Rub flesh with 2 Tbsp. of the oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside.
To make filling, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a wide frying pan; add onion and cook until soft, stirring constantly. Add the meat, break apart with a spoon, and cook over high heat until no longer pink. Add tomato sauce, thyme and 3/4 teaspoon salt; simmer rapidly for about 5 minutes, stirring, then remove from heat. Drain. With your hands, squeeze all the water possible from the bread, then set bread aside.
Combine chard and parsley with 1/2 cup wataer; bring to a boil, breaking up chard. Drain and cool. Squeeze out as much water as you can, chop greens fine.
Combine meat sauce, squeezed bread, chard, Parmesan cheese, and eggs, and beat to blend. Mound all the mixture into the zucchini, patting firmly into place.
Place zucchini in a baking pan with about 1/2 inch water. Bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until quite tender all the way through. Supporting with two very wide spatulas, transfer to a serving tray. Cut zucchini crosswise into serving portions. Serve, passing the extra Parmesan cheese at the table. Serves 6. Enjoy! -Diana
Submitted by Diana Bogue Contributed on: and modified on Monday July 3rd, 2006