- 3 medium zucchini (18 oz total), ends trimmed
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 slices crispy cooked bacon, chopped
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion greens
- 1 Roma or plum tomato, cored, seeded and finely diced
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Halve the zucchini lengthwise. Use a small metal spoon to scrape out the seeds from each zucchini half, then cut each half into three pieces, 1-1/2 to 2 inches long. Place the zucchini, skin side down, in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Generously brush the zucchini with the olive oil.
- In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika and cumin with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Season the insides of the zucchini with the spice mixture. Roast the zucchini until just tender but still firm when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F (175°C).
- Divide the cheese and bacon evenly among the zucchini bites, packing the cheese in a bit so it isn’t falling out. Return the zucchini to oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly and the zucchini is tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Garnish with the sour cream, scallion greens, diced tomato, and cracked pepper. Serve immediately.