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Take Me to Your Eater | Tomato & Quinoa-Stuffed Flying-Saucer Squash

5 August 2010
by Rachel

tomato and quinoa squash

Our CSA share often enough provides us with items that I once would have thought of as otherworldly (or still do—I’m looking at you, celeriac). While I quickly came to love scapes and most other surprises, Mike (the boyfriend) still shudders at even the tame and ubiquitous summer squash. So when I peered into the bag of this week’s haul and saw three flying saucers with skin the shade of green often applied to cartoon aliens, I knew that making something he would like out of patty pan squash was a challenge of planetary proportions (zing!).

Now, I have coaxed Mike into eating stuffed acorn squash, although thinking back, I wouldn’t be surprised if he fooled me by enthusiastically eating the filling and whisking his plate off to the sink, so I didn’t have the opportunity to confirm just how much squash flesh he “enjoyed.” I figured stuffing the patty pans was a pretty safe route. The night I tackled them, though, I may have been the bigger challenge. I was craving pizza so bad that I spent probably an hour browsing menus of pizza restaurants online. Admittedly, this is not that rare of a way for me to pass the time. (Do other people do this?)

I figured I could conquer the pizza craving by using some of the pile of tomatoes from Mom’s garden. I know, a bit of a stretch, but I have CSA guilt if I go out to eat with all those lonely veggies back at home. I had a bit of heavy cream in the fridge and gave everything some substance with quinoa. The verdict? Mike cleaned his plate, and I forgot about pizza…for a few hours at least.

I thought this would be a good recipe to kick off the blog because it illustrates the balance I’m always aiming for in my meals and hope that the other recipes I feature will show too. I get plenty of nutrition in with the quinoa, squash, and tomatoes, and I indulge with some cheesy creaminess. Had I wanted to keep things lighter, I might have just used some stock or tomato puree in place of the cream, and the cheese could be sadly easily omitted or replaced with a vegan substitute.

Tomato & Quinoa-Stuffed Flying-Saucer Squash
Inspired by M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger’s Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
Serves 3 as a side or 2 with a side (we had roasted potatoes)

3 medium patty pan squash
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons cream
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
More parmesan and chopped parsley to garnish

Steam the squash for 15-20 minutes in a covered steam basket over boiling water, or until they are just soft enough to barely resist a fork’s insertion. When squash has cooled enough to handle, slice off the top of each squash just above the bumpy part that would be its rings if it were a planet. Dig out most of the flesh, being careful not to pierce the outer skin (though I did, without consequence). Dice the flesh, and set aside.

Rinse the quinoa. Add to a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a covered simmer for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and S&P, and cook until almost translucent. Add the garlic. When garlic is fragrant, add the reserved flesh from the squash, and cook until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, and when they are heated through, add the cream, parmesan, and cooked quinoa, stirring gently after each addition. Taste, and season with S&P as necessary.

Coat the bottom of a shallow baking dish with olive oil, and place the squash in cut side up (so they are little bowls). Mound the quinoa mixture into each squash (you will probably have extra filling, which is delicious to snack on while the squash bakes). Bake filled squash uncovered for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Top with more grated parmesan, and bake another 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley, and serve.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cristina permalink
    6 August 2010 12:23 pm

    If that tastes half as good at it looks…I’m in! Food blogs are definitely a guilty pleasure for me. So excited for what’s to come! 😉

    • 7 August 2010 11:29 pm

      Thanks, Cristina! I love food blogs too! Stay tuned… 😉

  2. Laura bell permalink
    14 August 2013 5:38 pm

    Wow I never had a idea what to do with this squash! Awesome… I used wild brown rice, and sub cream with plain yogurt! Yummy Good! Thank you 🙂

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