This Provençal recipe is adapted from a recipe that appeared in the August/September 2005 issue of Saveur magazine. The original recipe called for stuffing the filling inside zucchini, round summer squash, and tomatoes, but the filling works just as well spooned into bell peppers or eggplant halves. Just don't use only peppers—that's because you need the flesh you've removed from the other vegetables as part of your filling.
8 small zucchini or eggplants, medium round summer squash, or large bell peppers ( a mixture of vegetables is fine, but don’t use just bell peppers)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup plus ¼ cup bread crumbs, preferably homemade and not too finely ground
¼ cup milk
1 lb. ground pork or loose pork sausage (you can substitute ground chicken or turkey)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ small onion, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Trim the tops off the vegetables. Halve the long vegetables lengthwise and the round vegetables horizontally (for round summer squash, just remove the tops). Discard seeds. Scoop out the remaining flesh (except for bell peppers), leaving shells about ½- to ¾-inches thick. Chop the flesh, put it into a large bowl, and set it aside. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large baking dish and arrange the halves evenly in the dish. Briefly soak the 1 cup bread crumbs in the milk, then add the crumbs to the bowl of vegetable flesh. Add the crumbled meat, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper to taste; mix everything together evenly with your hands. Add the tomatoes and herbs and mix loosely. Fill the vegetable shells with the stuffing and sprinkle each with the ¼ cup bread crumbs. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Bake for 1 hour, or until the shells have softened (but not crumpled) and the crumbs on top have browned. Serve hot