I visited Farms View the other day after a brief hiatius from cooking (or eating) anything at all to find an amazing array of locally grown produce. My short break from the usual routine was unwelcome at first, but slowing down during this change of season has given me some time to think about what I'm cooking, why I'm cooking it, who I am cooking for, and what that says about me. More on that later.
Now is the season to visit your local farm. With only two more weeks left for my CSA share, I'm already becoming nostalgic for produce I won't see again until next season. I was happy to see that they are still picking Pattypan squash, a cute and stuffable summer squash that transitions nicely to the autumn table. Get them while you can. This recipe will freeze well, and is especially good when served with a sauce of mushrooms and white wine.
Eat the foods that make you healthy and happy. Enjoy the bounty of late summer and early fall vegetables. Can and freeze. Cook. Share. Consider your food choices, for they determine our future, and eat what you have created with joy and gratitude.
Stuffed Pattypan Squash
Little pattypan squash are stuffed with an herb-kissed savory bread crumb and vegetable mixture and baked in the oven for a gorgeous vegetarian entrée. Serve with a big, fresh salad, good bread, and something fruity for dessert.
8 small pattypan squash
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups day-old wheat bread, chopped into rough crumbs
12 pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
Extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
6 fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon each fresh marjoram and thyme
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ cup dry white wine
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut tops off of squash, then use a melon-baller or metal spoon to scoop out the insides, leaving a ¼” shell. Place shells in a baking pan that will accommodate them snugly, and season with salt, pepper and about a teaspoon of olive oil. Finely chop the flesh that you have removed from the inside of the squash, and set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add about two tablespoons of olive oil, and then the chopped onion. Season with a pinch of kosher salt, and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is a light golden color. Add garlic and reserved, chopped squash, and continue to stir frequently until all are soft and fragrant, about three more minutes. Add bread crumbs, pine nuts and fresh herbs, and stir to combine, tossing over the heat for another minute. Remove from heat and add a little more olive oil to moisten if necessary (or vegetable stock, if you’re watching your fat intake).
Lightly spoon filling into squash shells, making sure not to pack it too tightly. Pour wine into bottom of baking dish, then cover tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and turn the oven to broil to brown the top of the filling (about 2 minutes under the broiler).
This dish can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.
Serves four as an entrée, or eight as an appetizer.