Saturday, March 15, 2014


serves four

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 mature pattypan squash, 2-3 pounds, washed, top cut open, seeded, and flesh scooped out (and saved)
3 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped finely
1 slice bread, diced into breadcrumbs
2-4 tablespoons white wine
coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded cheese (white cheddar and/or Gruyère)
grated Parmesan, to top

Boil 3+ cups salted water and add the quinoa. Simmer for 20-30 minutes (or until it’s ready to add to the stuffing). Drain, and set aside for later. If you have leftover cooked quinoa or other grains, you can definitely use them. This goes for most leftover vegetables or meats.

Prepare the squash, first by cutting a hole in the top as if you were carving a pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp and discard (or keep for roasting). Hollow out the inside of the squash using a spoon.  Save this flesh to use in the stuffing. You don’t need to remove too much of the inside; I did it just to make room for more stuffing. Set the entire squash aside.

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

In a large skillet/sauté pan, fry the bacon over high heat. When it’s crispy, remove it from the pan to a cutting board, turn the heat down to medium-high, and add the onions. While the onions are cooking (and you’re stirring them occasionally), chop the garlic, mushrooms, kale, remaining squash flesh, and bread. After 5 or 10 minutes, add the garlic and mushrooms to the onions, which will have softened, or turned brown if you’ve cooked them for longer; either is fine. Sauté the onion-garlic-mushroom mixture for a few minutes. Add the kale and scooped out squash. Sauté for a few more. When the mushrooms have lost most of their moisture, the garlic is soft, and onions have sweetened.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of the white wine. Let this simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Taste the mixture. If it’s too watery, let it simmer for a few minutes. If too dry, add some more wine, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the shredded cheese. Taste it again. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Scoop the mixture into the hollowed-out squash. Place the stuffed pattypan squash in a baking pan and into the oven. Bake for 35+ minutes. You want tender, but not mushy squash. Test it with a fork and knife at 30 minutes. The stuffing is already cooked; you don’t need to worry about anything other than cooking the squash.

When you’re confident that it’s good to go, remove it from the oven. Slice it into quarters, top with Parmesan, and devour it.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Eric Lissner, TuroK Like Food

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