As I write this, I have just spent 2 nights in Port Townsend, WA listening to howling winds and sideways blowing sheets of rain, so even though at the time I made this dish I was just disgusted with having to deal with another round of summer squash, I actually miss these sunny (in shape and color!) pattypan squash and kind of wish I had some now to brighten my outlook.
But I will suppress those feelings and try to channel my end of summer squash bitterness to make this a little more neutral in description. At the time, I was tapped out of ideas as to what to do with squash, but I got a bit of inspiration from my friend Erika who told me about this vegetarian cookbook of hers that presents pattypans in a fun and intriguing way. Rather than cutting them into chunks, you slice them down the middle so you showcase their unique flowery shape. Bake them, then mix the filling with cheese and other spices and stuff it back in the shells. You have a pretty and delicious stuffed squash dish!
So I decided to try it out. I roasted my pattypans until the insides were soft and scoopable. I then took the squash flesh and mixed it with sauteed garlic and onions, chopped fresh spinach and mozzarella cheese then mounded the mixture back into the hallowed squash shells. They were baked again with a topping of crunchy bread crumbs until the crumbs browned and the cheese melted. This was a pretty tasty side dish: the squash was slightly sweet and balanced with a little heat from the garlic. Add to it the contrast in textures: the soft squash, gooey cheese and crunch of the bread crumbs. Sunny, flowery pattypans– I miss your color as we slip into rainy winter!
- 1.5 lb pattypan squash, cut in half down the middle
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- cooking spray
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush your squash slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for half an hour or until the squash flesh is soft enough to scoop out. Saute the onion and garlic in about 2 tsp olive oil until the onion is translucent.
Scoop out the flesh from the squash into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth then scoop out into a medium bowl. Combine with the spinach, cheese and onion mixture. Evenly distribute this mixture between your pattypan halves then sprinkle the tops with the breadcrumbs. Lightly spray the crumbs with cooking spray and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the crumbs have browned and the filling in the squash has heated through.
CSA Count: 3
Pattypans, onion, fresh garlic