Zucchini Boats with Mediterranean-Style Chickpea Rice

March 18, 2019

We’re all about making vegetables more interesting and packed with flavor for Meatless Monday. Zucchini takes the form of “boats” here and holds a Mediterranean-Style chickpea rice that is equally delicious as it is filling. We serve these boats atop Cava’s roasted red pepper spread for an extra colorful and protein-packed dinner.

Zucchini Boats with Mediterranean-Style Chickpea Rice
Serves 4

Roasted Zucchini Boats
4 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini’s interior so that a 1/2 inch shell remains. Chop the flesh and set aside.
3. Place the zucchini boats on two aluminum foil-lined baking sheets leaving 2 inches in between each zucchini half. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the zucchini on the top and bottom rack of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

Chickpea rice
3/4 cup chickpea rice, such as Banza
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Kosher Salt

1. Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small sauté over a medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of the rice and toast until golden fragrant, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the toasted rice and remaining 1/2 cup chickpea rice to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Strain the rice over a fine mesh strainer and rinse well with cold water.
4. Return the rice to the pot, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Fluff with a fork and keep warm.

Zucchini Boats with Mediterranean-Style Chickpea Rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup zucchini pulp, reserved from roasted zucchini recipe above
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons feta
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 recipe chickpea rice, recipe above
1 recipe of roasted zucchini boats, recipe above
1/2 cup roasted red pepper hummus, such as Cava

1. While the zucchini roasts, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the zucchini pulp, salt and pepper to taste and cook until most of the zucchini’s liquid evaporates, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato, bell pepper pulp, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the feta, olives, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the reserved chickpea rice and cook for 1 minute longer. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
2. Spoon in 1/3 cup of the chickpea rice mixture into the roasted zucchini boats. * Top with remaining two tablespoons of crumbled feta.
3. Put the zucchini under the broiler and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Keep a close eye on the boats so they do not burn. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish and serve immediately.