Zucchini Stuffed with Parsnip Puree | Recipe | Baked Stuffed Zucchini

Around this time last year, my mom had made these phenomenal stuffed zucchini.  The problem with my mom is that when she cooks, she makes it up as she goes along and then can't remember how she made it.  This recipe is fairly straight-forward, so lucky for us, she remembered enough for my to replicate it.

The parsnips have a sweet and delicate flavor.  Therefore, the stuffed zucchini has this wonderfully surprising taste.  Topped with the buttered bread crumbs, it's a treat for the pallet.

You may have more stuffing than you need, so don't feel you need to cram all of it into the shells.  If you plan on making these in advance, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature at least 45 minutes before placing in the oven.

Zucchini Stuffed with Parsnip Puree Recipe
Yields: 12 servings

6 thin, firm zucchini
1 lb parsnips, peeled and coarsely
5 Tbsp butter, melted and divided
1/4 c heavy cream
4-5 Tbsp breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Boil water in a large, wide-rim pan.  Season with salt and add zucchini.  Lower heat to Medium; cook 5-7 minutes until tender, but still slightly firm.  Rinse under cold water and pat dry.
2. Trim ends of zucchini and slice them in half lengthwise.  Use a small knife to outline the pulp.  Do not cut too far down.  Using a small spoon, such as a demitasse spoon, scoop out pulp.  Place pulp in a fine wire sieve and let drain for 20 minutes.  Turn zucchini shells over and let drain.
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil; season with salt.  Add parsnips and lower heat to Medium.  Cook 5-6 minutes or until tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water.
4. After zucchini pulp has drained, use the back of a rubber spatula and push down on the pulp to release any excess liquid.  Puree zucchini and parsnips in a blender or food processor.  Add cream, 3 Tbsp butter, salt and pepper.  Pulse to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
5. Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter in a small skillet over Low heat.  Add breadcrumbs; cook until nicely browned.  Do not burn.
6. Place zucchini shells in a butter baking dish.  Using demitasse spoon, fill zucchini shells with puree and top with bread crumbs.  Place in the oven and cook 10-20 minutes, until stuffing is hot.