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Braised Zucchini Wheels with Sesame-Mint Pesto

Recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times, www.VegetarianTimes.com

Braising--searing, then simmering in a small amount of water in a shallow pan--keeps the zucchini's texture firm but tender, rather than turning the vegetable into mush. This technique also works well with a prepared pesto if you're short on time.

Seves 4

Ingredients
⅓ cup breadcrumbs
⅓ cup whole almonds
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 ½ Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
4 medium zucchini (2 lb.), cut into 5 wheels each
  1. Pulse breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic, mint, lemon juice, and lemon zest in blender or food processor until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add oil and sesame seeds, and pulse several times to make chunky pesto.
  3.  Score an X in each zucchini wheel to within 1/2 inch of bottom, making sure not to cut through.
  4. Gently pry each wheel open, and stuff with 1 heaping tsp. pesto.
  5. Place zucchini wheels snugly in single layer, stuffing-side up, in medium saucepan.
  6. Add 1 cup water, cover pan, and bring to simmer over medium heat.
  7. Cook 20 minutes, or until zucchini are tender.
  8. Serve hot, with cooking liquid drizzled over top.

Per serving (5 wheels):
Calories: 196
Protein: 7 g
Total Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 87 mg
Fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 5 g