Zucchini Baskets with Greek Olives

Zucchini Baskets

Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

Olive tree is known from ancient years and it comes from western Mediterranean. According to myth the first place where it was planted was Athens during Athena’s fight with Poseidon. Greeks were the first people who cultivated the olive tree and according to contemporary historians neither Italians, nor Spanish and Tunisians knew its existence and cultivation.

Olive tree is evergreen with small leaves like spears. Its fruits are ready to be picked late fall beginning of winter. The trees that are meant to give olive oil are different from those that give the well-known to all of us olives. Mid fall to early winter people start picking the olives and it is a very demanding and tiring procedure. Underneath the trees the laborers lay synthetic fabrics like nets and olives fall with the help of special tools on them. The olives are cleaned from any branches and they are placed in special containers to transport them to the oil press to extract the olive oil.

Zucchini Baskets

In the oil press the olives go through an industrial decanter. First are weighed and then they are cleaned from any foreign particles. Continuing, the olives go to the crusher where they are crushed and a paste is created. This paste is mollified for about 20 to 30 minutes in order to allow the small olive drops to agglomerate. In this stage, the temperature must not exceed 26 to 27 C. After that the paste goes to the industrial decanter where the olive oil will be separated from the pulp.

“The decanter is a large capacity horizontal centrifuge rotating approximately 3,000 rpm, the high centrifugal force created allows the phases to be readily separated according to their different densities (solids > vegetation water > oil). Inside the decanter’s rotating conical drum there is a coil that rotates more slowly, pushing the solid materials out of the system.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Leaving the decanter, the olive oil continues its journey to the centrifugal separator where the olive oil is cleaned from any residues, water etc. and it is ready to be consumed.

Zucchini Baskets

Now I am going to share a secret with you that all people who consume olive oil should know, but the majority doesn’t. I am sure many of you at some point have tried an olive oil that once you swallowed it, it burnt your throat and I am pretty sure that you have rejected this olive oil as too strong. Well, actually this is totally wrong. Polyphenols which are found in olives and accordingly to olive oil are natural chemical substances that have antioxidant properties and help in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The more polyphenols an olive oil has the more it burns your throat when you swallow it. So don’t be in a rush to reject this type of olive oil, as it is better than the one that has a mild taste.

Now, I was watching TV5Europe and I saw a French chef making these little zucchini baskets. I dusted my French and managed to understand the recipe, which was very easy actually. I decided to make it with a few changes I thought necessary and they were so delicious even my son, who is not so enthusiastic about zucchini, ate them and liked them very much.

Zucchini Baskets



5.0 from 5 reviews
Zucchini Baskets with Greek Olives
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Appetizer
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Mediterranean
Serves: 2
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 2 round zucchinis
  • 5 Kalamata olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100 to 120 gr. / 3.5 to 4 oz. graviera cheese or gruyere, grated
  • Olive oil
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Cut the zucchinis in half.
  2. Cut their stems on both sides and with a spoon empty their flesh leaving half inch from the skin.
  3. Place them clean part downwards to a steamer and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove from steamer and put them immediately in very cold water to stop them from continuing to boil.
  5. Cut their flesh in small cubes and also cut the olives in pieces.
  6. In a skillet pour couple of tbsp. of olive oil and add the garlic.
  7. Sauté for a minute and then add the zucchini flesh, the olives and all the herbs, sugar, salt and pepper.
  8. Sauté for about 5 minutes in medium / high heat.
  9. Remove and add the 80 gr. of graviera cheese or gruyere and mix to incorporate.
  10. Take the zucchini baskets and add 1 tsp of olive oil in each one of them.
  11. Stuff them with the mixture and cover them with graviera or gruyere.
  12. Preheat oven to 175°C / 340°F.
  13. Bake them for 15 minutes and then turn on the broiler and broil for couple of minutes or until they take a nice golden color on top.
  14. Serve warm.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Καλαθάκια Κολοκυθιού με Ελιές
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Ορεκτικό
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Μεσογειακή
Serves: 2
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 2 στρογγυλά κολοκυθάκια
  • 5 ελιές
  • 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο, λιωμένες
  • 1 κ.σ. φρέσκο βασιλικό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • ½ κ.γ. ρίγανη
  • ½ κ.γ. ξερό βασιλικό
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι
  • 1 κ.γ. ζάχαρη
  • 100 γρ. τυρί γραβιέρα, τριμμένη
  • Ελαιόλαδο
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Κόβετε τα κολοκυθάκια στη μέση.
  2. Κόψτε τους μίσχους από τις δύο πλευρές και με ένα κουτάλι αφαιρέστε τη σάρκα τους αφήνοντας ένα εκατοστό από τη φλούδα.
  3. Τοποθετήστε τα με το σκαμμένο μέρος προς τα κάτω σε έναν ατμομάγειρα για περίπου 10 με 12 λεπτά.
  4. Βγάλτε από τον ατμομάγειρα και βάλτε τα αμέσως σε πολύ κρύο νερό για να σταματήσουν να βράζουν.
  5. Κόψτε τη σάρκα τους σε μικρούς κύβους και κόψτε και τις ελιές σε κομματάκια.
  6. Σε ένα τηγάνι ρίξτε δύο κουταλιές ελαιόλαδο και προσθέστε το σκόρδο.
  7. Σοτάρετε για ένα λεπτό και στη συνέχεια προσθέστε τη σάρκα των κολοκυθιών, τις ελιές και τα μυρωδικά, ζάχαρη, αλάτι και πιπέρι.
  8. Σοτάρετε για περίπου 5 λεπτά σε μέτρια / υψηλή θερμοκρασία.
  9. Βγάλτε από τη φωτιά και προσθέστε τα 80 γρ. γραβιέρα και ανακατέψτε να ενσωματωθούν.
  10. Πάρτε τα κολοκυθάκια και προσθέστε 1 κουταλάκι του γλυκού ελαιόλαδο σε κάθε ένα από αυτά.
  11. Γεμίστε με το μείγμα και σκεπάστε με την υπόλοιπη γραβιέρα.
  12. Προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 175° C.
  13. Ψήστε για 15 λεπτά και στη συνέχεια ανάψτε το γκριλ και ψήστε για δύο λεπτά ή μέχρι να πάρουν ένα ωραίο χρυσό χρώμα στην κορυφή.
  14. Σερβίρονται ζεστά.



32 Responses to Zucchini Baskets with Greek Olives

  1. kostas says:

    Amazing….and I love stuffed zucchini especially avgolemono and super presentation!

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  3. Jennifer says:

    What a clever side dish!

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  6. Sissi says:

    I love the 100% summer look of this dish! Not to mention the presence of kalamata olives. Thank you for sharing with us the throat burning tip. I would never guess it meant healthier oil. (I guess a good way to remember it is to compare it to red wine, which slightly irritates the palate thanks to its tanins and which is apparently healthier than white one…).

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  8. Miz Helen says:

    We will just love the stuffing for these awesome Zucchini. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

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  10. mia xara says:

    These are a wonderful appetizer, Katerina! They both taste AND look good!!! Have a great week, XO

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  12. Joanne says:

    I love anything with olives and they add the perfect briny savory element here!

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  14. A beautiful and delicious seasonal dish. I love it!

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  16. The tiny appetizer sounds so yummy and love the way you’ve prepared it…

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  18. Nicky says:

    This looks wonderful. I haven’t stuffed zucchini like this before. But you make it look easy and delicious

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  20. Susan says:

    I didn’t know that tip about olive oil, Katerina. My favorite type of olive oil is Greek Extra Virgin. You make some good olive oil there ;). I love those cute little round zucchinis!

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  22. Nadji says:

    Une façon très gourmande de cuisiner la courgette. J’aime beaucoup.
    A bientôt

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  24. I haven’t paired zucchini with Greek olives before, it sounds wonderful and I love the presentation!

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  26. katy allred says:

    Oh my goodness I love every ingredient in this, AND I have fresh basil right now I need to use. I can’t wait to try this!

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  28. Love how cute and adorable these little round zucchini are! A great way to use up that beautiful late summer harvest and love your addition of Greek Olives. I have been thinking about you and hoping all is okay on your end! Awesome little recipe! Sharing my friend!

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  30. marcela says:

    Yum! What an amazing dish! Looks awesome!

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  32. Savory foods always catch my eye – loving that cheese dripping down the side, beautiful pictures! Thanks for stopping by #TryaBiteTuesday! Pinned & shared – hope to see you back next week!

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  34. grace says:

    zucchinis are great for stuffing, especially the round variety! i love your filling components–this is a dish that delivers in looks and flavors!

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  36. Barbara says:

    Great post on olive oil, Katerina. Lots of information I didn’t know.
    Your little zucchini boats are adorable…no wonder your son liked the dish. Love gruyere! I used to make little zucchini boats for holidays. Mine were stuffed with mushrooms and cheese. Everyone loved them.

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  38. Liz says:

    Your baskets are the most tempting stuffed zucchini I’ve ever seen! They look delicious!

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  40. What cute zucchini baskets. I’ve never seen round zucchini before in my life! That’s pretty neat!

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  42. I can literally taste the sweet & saltiness of this dish Katerina mou!!

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  44. mia maria says:

    Τι όμορφο καλοκαιρινό φαγητό! Και πόσο εμφανίσιμο! Οι ελιές θα του δίνουν μια ιδιαίτερη γεύση!

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  46. Ola says:

    Interesting, I did not know that the stronger flavor of the olive oil the more healthy it is
    Your baskets looks so nice!

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  48. Beth says:

    Your zucchini baskets look adorable! I’d love them too.

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  50. Such an informative post Katerina, I did not know how the olives where processed. I am lucky enough to have received a few very high quality ones and what a difference it makes. I know what you mean by that taste. I adore it, as I adore those baskets!

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  52. These look so tempting! Perfect late summer dinner.

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  54. Kate says:

    This is a fantastic method of stuffing zucchini.

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  57. Eha says:

    Oh, these are so appetizing to look at and yet so very easy to make and I am a zucchini fiend :) ! Love your explanation about olive oil . . . we are very lucky in Australia that many Mediterranean immigrants and now other Australians have begun to grow large olive orchards and make some superb ‘private label’ olive oils . . . what a difference to that bought in most supermarkets . . . which in many countries supposedly contains but a small percentage of real olive oil in the bottle . . .

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  59. Daniela says:

    I love zuccinis and this is a very creative and delicious way to prepare them.
    And before I forget- nothing beats the taste of wonderful Greek olives.

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  61. Corina says:

    I love stuffed squash and these look delicious. I love the cheesy filling.

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