It’s that time of the year. The time when everyone who knows someone who is growing summer squash in their garden gets some of that abundant crop. It is a satisfying vegetable to grow, is it not? We don’t have any, ourselves, we’re a strictly tomato-and-corn crop family this year, but Hubs has a coworker whose garden is busting at the seams with summer squash and zucchini. I still have three monster yellow squash in the frig from her, along with a grocery bag of smaller, more manageable-sized squash.
As large as these squash are, I knew that I’d be a fool for not stuffing them. I mean, look at these monsters.
They are nearly as long as a baking pan and easily three or four inches across! So, I sliced these bad boys in half, lengthwise, and brushed some butter on the cut side, then roasted them at 450 F for about 20 minutes. (To be fair, the butter makes my version decidedly un-vegan, but you could easily use margarine or olive oil.) Carefully, I scooped out the middle, leaving behind enough peel and flesh to hold its shape.
While they were roasting, I sauteed a diced onion and about four cloves of minced garlic. To the onion and garlic I added the pulp I had scooped out and chopped, along with a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. I also sprinkled some salt, thyme, oregano, and cracked pepper into the pan. The juices from the pulp were just enough liquid to help evenly distribute the tomato paste. On the back burner, literally, I had made some quinoa. I tossed in some of that, probably about two cups, cooked. Once it was all blended, I stuffed the zucchini boats with the quinoa/zuke/onion/garlic/seasoning mixture and baked about 5-10 minutes at 450 F.
They were delicious and so super-duper healthy. This is definitely one I would take to a covered dish party. I think it could easily be adapted for smaller zukes by roasting the zukes, mashing them – pulp, skin, and all – then adding the onion, garlic, seasoning, and quinoa. Instead of making boats, you could just put the mixture in a casserole dish. Not to mention, being vegan, they’d hold well at room temp.
We all decided – Hubs, his Best Friend in the Whole Entire Universe, and me – that the cheese and/or egg I could have used would have just muddied the beautifully clear and healthy dish. Here’s to your health, your garden, and more friends with abundant squash vines!
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