I have no self control when it comes to tiny vegetables. My friend Jen has the opposite problem, and has to buy every large vegetable in the farmer’s market (in fact it may be the reason why we first became friends, that and ratatouille). Perhaps I’m missing Halloween, because my first thought when seeing these tiny little squashes was “I wonder if I have a knife small enough to carve little faces in them?” Hunger struck before I got further than scooping them out, and instead I stuffed them with delicious things.
The following is not so much a recipe as a suggestion that tiny squashes stuffed with any number of good things are, well, good. So good that when I sent Peter to the farmer’s market on Sunday (I admit I slept in) he came back with two very large round summer squashes, perhaps 10x the size of these tiny ones. I asked him why he bought more summer squash when I had told him that we had plenty of the usual cucumber-shaped variety: “For more stuffed squash.” Oh, well I guess they were good.
Stuffed Summer Squash
Round summer squash (small ones will bake faster and of course require less filling)
Cooked whole grain of your preference (we had brown rice on hand)
Various other delectables: cheese, onion, herbs, chives (they get their own category), cooked meat, finely diced and cooked veggies (eggplant, peppers, corn), finely diced fresh veggies (tomatoes, corn, peppers), nuts, dried fruit (apricots, raisins), fresh fruit (apples?)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 400 degrees if you’re impatient). Hollow out the squash as you would a pumpkin, retaining the tops. Make sure to cut the tops large enough to fit a spoon in the squash to hollow it out. Cook any veggies for the filling and then assemble the filling (minus the egg) and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, plus any other herbs or spices you like. Add the egg to the filling and mix well. Spoon the filling into the hollowed-out squash and put the squash caps back on the squash. Bake the squash for about 30-40 minutes or until the filling is firm and the squash is cooked.
Perhaps you’re wondering what to do with the squash filling? I mixed it with salt, pepper, another egg, and some chives and baked it like a custard until firm, although I’m sure more exciting things could be done (and I really should have added cheese, oh well).