This was totally inspired by the cute factor. I saw these ADORABLE squashes at the farmer's market Saturday morning. I was already feeling happy, as I was with my girl, had a brewed coffee in hand, and it was gorgeous. When I passed the stand with these unique "zuchini family" squashes (I googled to confirm the plural form of "squash"), they just called my name. I picked them up for $3.
I wanted to treat them well, so this is what I did:
STUFFED CUTE SQUASH
I started by cutting each squash in half. I also sliced a think piece off of the side that would sit in the pan, so my filling wouldn't be dumped out. I scooped out all of the seeded pulp, creating a "bowl." Then I made the filling.
For the filling (4 ingredients):
- Brown a roll of breakfast sausage. Use 3/4 for the filling; save the other 1/4 for sausage gravy the next day. (yum!) Cook long grain white rice, enough for 1 1/2 cups cooked. This should be about 1/2 c. dry rice to start. Be sure to drain the rice well.
- Mix the crumbled sausage, 1 1/2 c. white cooked rice, 1 egg, and a 15 oz can of Italian style diced tomatoes. (If you don't have Italian, you could use plain and add in some oregano, basil, and thyme.) Spoon filling into each squash bowl.
- Place squash bowls into a lightly greased (cooking spray) large baking dish, and pour in about 1/4 c. water around the squash. Cover the pan with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 - 1 1/2 hrs. This will depend on how large/thick your squash are. Mine needed about 1 hr 20 min. to be fork tender on the sides.
- Remove from the oven, and turn the heat up to 450 degrees. Top each squash with a generous portion of shredded cheese; I had a Mexican blend. Finally, top each with about 1 T. of (real is better) Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 10 min.
This made a great main dish, served with a salad and biscuits. You can eat the ENTIRE squash, or you can eat the filling and some of the soft insides. My family (no names will be mentioned) did both.
This was a beautiful, healthy, and creative meal to make and enjoy!
Thanks to Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Lisa at Blessed with Grace for inspiring me to keep trying new dishes!