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Serves 6--½ zucchini each
3 large zucchini squash
¼ cup finely minced onions
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup ground blanched almonds
½ heavy cream (sour cream / milk)
½ to ⅔ cup dry white bread crumbs
½ cup grated Swiss cheese
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Trim the ends from the zucchini and wash. Place in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes (less if the zucchini are small) and cook until the flesh yields to pressure. Immediately place in cold water to stop the cooking. Cut in half lengthwise. Using a grapefruit knife, hollow out the center of each zucchini half; salt slightly and drain. Chop the removed flesh, and reserve for stuffing.
Stir onions into the oil, cover pan and cook over low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions are tender and translucent. Uncover, raise heat and let them just begin to brown, and then stir in the chopped zucchini flesh and sauté for several minutes, until zucchini is tender. Scrape into a bowl, and stir in the almonds and cream. Stir in 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, blending thoroughly, then all but 3 Tbsp. of the cheese and finally, the egg. Mixture should hold its shape softly when lifted in a spoon; if too soft; beat in more crumbs by small spoonfuls mixing thoroughly. Stir in salt, pepper, and cloves (to taste).
Arrange zucchini halves in a buttered baking dish and fill with stuffing. Sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs, and dribble with melted butter.
Bake in upper third of 400° oven uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling hot and brown on top. Do not overcook. The shell will become too soft for serving. Serve from baking dish, or arrange around meat platter.
This recipe can be made one day in advance (cover).
©Sally Bernstein, 2006