Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Yesterday morning I ventured into the garden and peeked under the leaves of my two patty pan squash bushes. I nearly screamed out loud. I had not looked there for a couple of days. But, nothing could have prepared me for the sight staring back. Twelve! Count them, TWELVE, full sized patty pans waiting to be picked. If I were a farmer, this would have been a joyful sight.
But, I live in a household where there are two people who will eat these. How am I going to use all of these before the onslaught of bitty patty pans reach full size? I tried to avert this situation this year by planting one patty pan. The second was the result of compost surprise. So, I hit the Internet and the kitchen to concoct a new recipe. Here are the results:

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash:

2 Patty Pan Squash - each about 5"-6" in diameter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese (I used Old World Swiss from Gossner's Foods)
1/4 cup Pesto
1 tsp. Salt
Dash Pepper

After washing the Patty Pans, cut a lid into the top by inserting a knife at a 45 degree angle about 1" from the stem and cutting around the stem in a circle (the same way you cut open a Halloween pumpkin). Remove the lid and cut off about 1/2 inch from the top reserving the squash. Using a melon baller, scoop out the insides of the squash leaving a shell about 1/2 inches thick. Reserve the insides. Repeat with the other squash.

Saute the chopped onion in the olive oil until it is translucent and slightly brown around the edges. In the mean time, finely chop the remaining squash or process it in a food processor. When the onions are ready, add the squash, salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook for an additional 10 min. until squash is cooked through. Add bread crumbs and pesto, stirring to fully incorporate. Add swiss cheese and stir until melted reserving a little to sprinkle on top.

Lightly coat the bottom of a 9x13 pan with olive oil. Stuff the filling mixture into the squash shells and top with the reserved cheese. Place upright in the pan and place lids off to the side. Place in an oven turned on to 350 degrees (you don't need to preheat) and bake for 30 minutes until the squash is tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from pan, place lids on top of the squash, and serve!

Side note: I looked at various other recipes for stuffed patty pan squash online. Most of them called for steaming the squash first then baking it. I found this to be a totally unnecessary step and a waste of energy. Also, other recipes called for discarding the squash insides and top. If found these to be a waste of good food and serious cuteness, so I incorporated them into my recipe.

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