In honor of Moldova, let’s clear out the weeds. Let’s make room for a garden. A springy, happy sort of place where you can go to daydream in the morning sunlight, with a cup of steaming hot tea at the ready.
A place where you can feel your connection to the earth and the soil. Where you can think those thoughts you never have time to think.
Where you can finally stop being too busy.
While you’re there I’d like you to plant a tiny sprout that will one day grow up into one hundred dream boats. One hundred zucchini boats that will set your mind to sail and carry your heart to Moldova. You’ll be able to bring anyone you like along for the ride.
Are you ready?
Let’s go on a Moldovan boat ride.
NOTE: Most authentic recipes call for tomato juice mixed with a spoonful or two of vinegar on the bottom of you casserole pan. Instead I opted for a plain tomato sauce to add textural oomph, but the choice is yours. Also, if you use large zucchini you might need to make more stuffing than I did – just double the recipe (leftovers will be great on rice).
5 small zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 heaping cup diced celery (about 1 stalk)
1/2 heaping cup diced carrot (about 1)
1 heaping cup diced onion (about 1 small)
1 Roma tomato, diced
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup plain tomato sauce mixed with 1 Tbsp vinegar (or to taste)
1/2-3/4 cup crumbled feta, preferably Bulgarian
Let’s imagine ourselves under the Moldovan sun, riding around in a boat made of pure zucchini.
We’ll make it out of small, slender zucchini. Simply slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out a channel of the white flesh.
Add this goodness to a skillet with a pool of golden olive oil, salt and pepper. Be happy knowing that there’s really no way you can mess this up.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Meanwhile, stuff the zucchini dream boats with the filling.
Even 2 1/2 year-olds can help with this! (It takes serious concentration)
Ava loves to help!
And don’t forget the cheese!
Bake for 25 minutes, or until softened, but the zucchini still retains its shape and has a little bite.
I love that it’s spring. I love that Keith, Ava, and I just planted little sprouts in the warm earth that will grow up into this very dinner. I can’t wait to see the look on Ava’s face when she bites into food she’s helped tend with her very own hands.
So what are you waiting for?
Wishing you all the beauty that a happy spring brings.