We’re only 3 weeks into summer but the temps haven’t dipped below 80 degrees with many days above 90. It’s safe to say the summer is here to stay. With that comes a whole new challenge: creating no or low cook meals as part of my meal planning for the week.
So far it’s been just that- a challenge. I’ve leaned towards using the grill vs. the oven as much as possible but I have yet to find my groove. I’m making too little, the babe dislikes too much of it, delicious low cook meals are difficult to find, and some salads, after day 2, are just not exciting to eat.
Enter, caprese. I initially planned to make grilled chicken caprese but is it just my supermarket who refuses to put them on sale?? I had a log of fresh mozzarella in the fridge waiting to be lovingly used and plans to buy some zucchini to make caprese boats. Then my dad visited and brought this:
I always always always say: befriend a farmer/gardener. It will be one of the most important relationships of your life. The fresh veggies, fruits, and greens my dad brings to us almost always taste better, fresher, and brighter than anything I can buy in store or even at my local farmers market. It’s that special ingredient: love.
I know- so cheesy, but so true! The only thing that makes my dad happier than growing food in his garden is seeing what I make with it and hearing about how much we all enjoyed it. I can only imagine the smile this grilled + stuffed zucchini caprese brought to his face.
Grilling the zucchini will make the cook time incredibly quick and will add an extra layer of flavor. Oh, and did I mention it’s stuffed with pulled pork???
- 2 large zucchini's or 3 small zucchini's
- 1 jar of marinara sauce
- 3-4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup pulled pork
- Fresh basil
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Begin by slicing the zucchini in half, long ways, and scooping out seeds. I found success in using a melon baller to have more control, but a spoon would work just fine.
- Season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil before placing on a hot grill.
- Remove when just tender (time will depend on thickness of zucchini. As you saw, my dad's zucchini were monsters so it took about 15 minutes to cook them through, turning mid way, but most smaller zucchini will take about 5).
- When complete, layer in a cast iron as follows: sauce, zucchini, pork, more sauce, mozzarella, and basil. I was able to fit 3 zucchini slices in my cast iron but with smaller zucchini I imagine 5-6 could fit.
- Place cast iron on still hot grill for about 5 minutes or until mozzarella is fully melted.
- Carefully remove from grill and allow to sit for a few minutes before eating hot. This meal also warms very well.
Can you even?? I mean, seriously, can you even? I made the marinara from a jar of tomatoes my dad gave to me fromt he tomatoes he grew last season. I cooked the whole mason jar on medium with a clove of smashed garlic, handful of basil, salt, pepper, and a spoonful of sugar, alla Mary Poppins, which helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. However your fave marinara will certainly work quite well. Adding fresh mozzarella and fresh basil just made it that much better. Not a fan of pork? Add chicken, shredded beef, tofu, quinoa, or nothing! This caprese is good all by itself!
Now let me know, what’s your fave no or low cook summer meal?