Friday, July 16, 2010

Giant Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Do not adjust your screens. Despite the low resolution (I was forced to use my BlackBerry camera to take pictures for this post), what you see below is not an enlarged image of a tiny pattypan squash. It is in fact A GIANT PATTYPAN! I admittedly love cute vegetables, so when I saw this giant yellow squash from Cowberry Crossing at Saturday's market, I had to buy it. I decided to treat it kind of like a pumpkin, hollowing out and discarding most of the innards, par boiling it for 10 minutes and then stuffing and baking it for another 30 minutes. The squash was really easy to cut, and the soft flesh (which I scooped out with measuring spoons -- first using the tablespoon and then moving onto the teaspoon for the "detail work") did have seeds reminiscent of a pumpkin. I was barely able to submerge the squash in my small saucepan, and in the end, needn't have bothered because after 10 minutes, the squash was almost overcooked. I let it drain and cool slightly before coating it with oil and seasoning the inside with salt and pepper to prepare it for stuffing. By using an oval container that was just bigger than the squash, I was able to preserve the shape (you could also use aluminium foil balls to help prop up the squash in a square or rectangular container). The end result tasted similar to a stuffed spaghetti squash, but with the giant pattypan, you could eat the rind and all -- one way to conquer a monster (squash) .
Stuffed Squash
This recipe makes extra filling, which you'll want to serve alongside the squash so you can maintain the good filling-to-veg ratio while dining!
1 Giant pattypan squash
1 t. Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 t. Light whipped butter
6 Baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 Small onion, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
.25 C. Bruchetta sauce (or diced tomatoes and extra oil)
1 t. Oregano
1 t. Dried basil
1 C. Brown rice
1 Link chicken sausage, diced
1 oz. Romano cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter and saute the sliced mushrooms until caramelized.
In the meantime, cut a circle through the stem end of the squash.
Using a small scoop, hollow out the interior, discarding the seeds and pulp or reserving for another recipe.
Place in a small casserole dish and drizzle one teaspoon of oil over the hollowed-out squash, season interior with salt and pepper.
Add onion, basil and oregano and saute two minutes; add garlic, diced sausage and bruchetta sauce, cook two additional minutes and remove pan from heat. Stir in cooked rice and cheese.
Stuff the squash until full but not overpacked (there will be excess filling). Bake squash at 350 for 20-30 minutes until squash is lightly browned and filling is bubbling.
Let stand for five minutes before serving.

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