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How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini

Need a quick appetizer? Make Up a Batch of Stuffed Zucchini Rounds!

We all love the taste of these veggies, especially when drizzled with a little dressing and thrown on the grill. Zucchini and yellow squash also make excellent baked holders for a number of festive foods. They're the perfect size to arrange on an appetizer tray and become quite decorative when the colors are mixed.

You can include any fillings that are on hand and making the actual rounds is so simple. The veggies do not have to be cooked beforehand, unless you want to add hot ingredients at the last minute and place under the broiler for a quick melt.

Slice the zucchini into at least 1-inch rounds. Remove the ends, of course. If you have a melon baller, carve out the middle of the zucchini and leave enough of a base to stand up to a filling.

At this point, you can pre-bake the rounds for a few minutes. Season with a salad dressing (Italian is good) and bake for about 5 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Next, you can add the hot stuffings, top with cheese and broil.

The alternative is to build the appetizers and bake all at once. Just add cheese at the last minute for browning. Here the choices are unlimited. Use pre-cooked cubed ham, chorizo, prosciutto, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, or even other chopped vegetables. For the greasier selections, we recommend cooking first and draining well on paper towels. Keep in mind that all meats should be cooked first - this can be done ahead of time, however.

Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray, add the stuffed zucchini rounds and bake for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Any cheese - gourmet or common - will make a great topping. Bake, broil, and serve hot. Now you have the perfect little appetizer.

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