From: Danielle Hill of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, VA (C-CAP Hampton Roads, VA), second prize winner in the 2012 C-CAP Meatless Monday Recipe Contest. Yield: 6 servings.
1- 2/3 cup water
1/3 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 large zucchini (approx. 6” long), halved lengthwise with stem end removed, pulp reserved
1½ Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing zucchini
½ cup medium-diced onion
1/3 cup medium-diced celery
2/3 cups chopped mushroom
½ cup medium-diced red pepper
2 small cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. dried tarragon
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. white wine (or white grape juice)
¼ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ cup cooked wild rice
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring 1-2/3 cups of water to a simmer, add lentils and bay leaf. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 35-40 minutes. Drain any remaining water and remove bay leaf when cooked.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While lentils cook, slice zucchini lengthwise and scoop out seeds and pulp into a bowl, leaving ¼” around the sides. Chop the pulp.
When the lentils have about 20 minutes left to cook, brush extra vegetable oil over zucchini shells and bake cut-side down until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet and cook zucchini pulp, onions, celery, mushrooms, red peppers and garlic until soft, but not brown, and until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add cooked lentils, cooked wild rice, tarragon, marjoram, cumin, sesame oil, white wine or white grape juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper; remove from heat.
Once zucchini shells are tender and filling is cooked, scoop filling into the zucchini shells. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Serve immediately.