This month’s “Savor Cooks” recipe features basil. Try our recipe for Zucchini Pizza Boats with Fresh Basil.
For many of us, when we hear the word “basil” we automatically think “pesto.” But there are so many other great things to do with fresh basil, such as:
- Add to sandwiches in place of or in addition to lettuce
- Tear over finished pasta, pizza, soup or cooked vegetables
- Chiffonade (stack a few leaves, roll them up tight, and slice perpendicular to the roll to create a ribbon effect) and sprinkle over sliced tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar
- Pulse into an aioli, yogurt dip or salad dressing
- Blend into a slushie with frozen watermelon, lime juice and honey
- Seek out Thai basil and use in curries and stir-fries
Don’t forget to check out our Food of the Month post on basil.
This recipe by no means replaces real pizza, but it is a fun variation if you find yourself swimming in the last of summer’s zucchini crop (for more pizza variations, check out these Figgy Flatbread Pizzas with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese & Arugula).
The recipe below is just a guide. These pizza boats can be catered to whatever pizza toppings you crave, although a simple tomato – cheese – basil combination is classic.
Use the scooped zucchini innards for smoothies. Freeze in a freezer safe-container and add up to ¼ cup of zucchini per smoothie serving for a thickening agent that isn’t banana-based.
- 4 medium zucchini
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, or a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan
- extra topping ideas: halved cherry tomatoes, cooked mushrooms, chopped peppers
- 4 – 6 large basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Halve the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the insides to create a cavity for sauce. Save the zucchini innards and store in the freezer – they are great for adding thickness to smoothies. Place onto a baking sheet cut side up.
- Brush a teaspoon of olive oil onto each open zucchini half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Spoon in ¼ cup sauce (or more or less depending on the size of the zucchini) into each half. Divide the cheese among the halves and add any extra toppings.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the zucchini is easily pierced with a knife and the cheese is melted and browning.
- Once out of the oven, tear the basil leaves and divide among the zucchini.