The pinnacle of summer arrives when you can make dinner from the farmers’ market. I don’t mean dinner’s side dish or the base of your peach crisp. I mean dinner from start to finish.
You need two criteria met: a well-equipped farmstand, the kind that sells local bread and some cheese; and the arrival of heirloom tomato season. I say this because no summer meal is worth its salt unless it includes at least one variety of local heirloom tomato.
Even though we’ve passed summer’s midway point, we’re still at the beginning of peak tomato time. I haven’t seen a ton of Brandywines or Cherokee Purples yet, despite rummaging through the boxes at my favorite farmstand as early as I can get out of bed on weekend mornings.
Instead, when I put together this recipe to highlight heirloom tomatoes as part of Whole Foods’ campaign to shout about tomatoes from the rooftops, I opted for Sun Golds, little yellow-slash-orange globes of sweetness. They’re sweet and a little tangy, and they pair beautifully with cheese–in sandwiches or on pizza–but I wanted a more farmstand-y meal than just pizza.
So, I grabbed a few stout gray zucchini from the stand, halved them, and scooped them out to turn them into little boats, also known as summertime pizza crusts. That’s when, looking at the rest of my market yield, fresh onions and garlic and mozzarella, I decided to throw together a margarita pizza-inspired filling headlined by my Sun Golds. Inside these “boats,” you’ll find those sweet baked tomatoes, flavorful breadcrumbs, sweet summer onion, basil, and more.
I wrote this sponsored post in partnership with Whole Foods to make sure you guys didn’t miss the glory and deliciousness of heirloom tomatoes. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that help inspire BGSK’s content!
Heirloom Tomato Pizza-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
3 medium summer squash or zucchini
1 small onion
1 cup yellow heirloom tomatoes, cut into quarters
½ cup cubed or torn fresh mozzarella
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs (from about 2 slices of bread)
1 garlic clove, minced to a paste with salt
10 basil leaves, slivered
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and transfer them to a bowl. Brush the squash with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, until golden around the edges.
Meanwhile, heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion for 10 minutes, until translucent. Chop the scooped-out squash and add it to the pan, sautéing until soft, another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, basil, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt to taste, adding as much as you think the mixture needs to bring out the flavors of the tomatoes. Add the zucchini-onion mixture and stir together.
Press the filling into each of the zucchini boats. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melty, the tomatoes have burst, and the tops of the boats are golden. Let rest for a minute, then serve, topped with any extra basil leaves for garnish.