zucchini stuffed with feta, pinenuts, and dill

one of those perfect summer meals

Oh man, sometimes I get into the mode when I want to write about a recipe and words just flow, you know. And sometimes, I make a dish and it is heavenly. And I can’t wait to share it with all of you. And then – my mind goes all fragment-y and vacant. I write a few pieces and nothing quite flows and I scrap the whole thing and begin all over again. And this recipe is one of them.

And yet I cannot figure out why – because if anything this dish is so amazing, easy, delicious and healthy that I should have no problem singing it praises. I should just feel so inspired by the fact that there is nothing about this dish not worth noting, but instead I look at the pictures, salivate a bit and go back to the blank sheet to type something, anything that might induce a bit of sex-appeal for the dish. You know, every dish wants to be sexy in some way or another. It needs to have its edge, its je ne sais quoi, its mojo!


But here’s the rub – if say gossip magazines were loaded with nothing but positive and wonderful news of celebrities, the gossip magazine industry as we know it would cease to exist. Or sell a lot fewer magazines. Because people like to read stories with a little bit of hair on them. No one wants to read a happy-go-lucky story. We eat up negative tabloid news like nothing else – and someone’s making a mint on this! Some actress falling off the wagon and the next day a picture of her passed out in her car is front pages news; an innocent looking heartthrob getting caught with a hooker in an alley; a cherubic, stunning model videotaped doing cocaine. This is the stuff that really propels the sales into the stratosphere. I guess because this dish is the equivalent of a Meryl Streep celebrity-type, there’s little edge that it has. Talented, elegant, appealing, but not in the least bit scandalous or mysterious – when was the last time you read about Meryl in People, US Weekly, or OK?

I guess the missive is this – unless you dislike any of the ingredients listed, you need to make this dish. Soon. And if you dislike, pine nuts for example, just take them out and make the dish without them. I suppose if you don’t like zucchini, then you’re pretty much out of luck as the rest of the dish goes out the window, but few people I know dislike zucchini. In fact, no one I know, dislikes it.


So, it’s quite simple, you see. Make the dish. Taste for yourself. And let me know if you don’t love it – because I’ve yet to make this and have leftovers the next day. And there you have it, short, sweet, to the point. Nothing controversial about stuffed zucchini (unless you want to make a juvenile crack about me saying “stuffed”) – but I tried to come up with something zany for you, and it amounted to nothing. I suppose this would make me a failure at a tabloid magazine – I like happy stories both in print and on my plate!

4 1/2-pound zucchini, scrubbed
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound Feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
half a cup of toasted pine nuts

Trim and discard the stem ends from 2 of the zucchini, halve the 2 zucchini lengthwise, and with a melon-ball cutter scoop out the flesh, reserving it and leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Arrange the shells, cut sides up, on a steamer rack set over simmering water and steam them, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are just tender. Invert the shells on paper towels to drain.

Meanwhile, roast the pine nuts in a splash of olive oil and a bit of salt. When the pine nuts are nicely browned, remove from heat drain and set aside.

Cut the remaining 2 zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a non-stick skillet cook the onions in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until they are softened, add the reserved flesh, chopped, and the zucchini slices, and sauté the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring, until it is golden. In a food processor blend the mixture with the Feta until the zucchini slices are chopped coarse and stir in the dill. Divide the filling among the 4 zucchini shells, arrange the stuffed zucchini in an oiled flameproof baking dish, and broil them under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and deep golden.

Serves 4.

Inspired by Epicurious.com
September 1992


  • aileen

    Happy story indeed! You pretty much took my recently arrived CSA box, the only herb I seem to have any talent for nurturing, and some of my favorite pantry ingredients, and combined them into something that has me tempted to skip out for a second lunch. Thank you!

  • Lydia

    I’m off to the farmers’ market this morning, where the zucchini is now abundant — and then to the cheesemaker around the corner who has the most amazing goat’s milk feta — and then into my garden for the dill. Perfect!

  • Jim

    Hmmm…for some reason, I’ve been leery of zucchini since an unknown point in my childhood (my family insists I used to love them, but now I can only eat them in bread). But since I’m trying to be a proper foodie, I think I’m gonna have to give these a try!

  • Carly

    Delicious! I have a memory of eating stuffed zucchini at a restaurant on a pier in a weird town in Holland, and because it was one of those terribly distinct and unlikely moments, I always remembered the meal. I made these last night, completely forgot to broil them at the end, but they were still delicious. Leftovers tonight!

  • jennbecluv

    You can bet your bottom dollar (what does that phrase mean anyway?) that I’ll be making these this week. I have these great “8 ball” zucchini that I’ll hollow out and use accordingly. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Lori

    These were good! I microwave the zucchini shells instead of steaming. The pine nuts provided some nice texture against the otherwise soft filling. Will make them again.

Leave a Comment