© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Squash - A Country Garden Cookbook by Regina Schrambling, 1995, HarperCollins
These colorful stuffed squash are meant as a side dish, but they can also be served as a brunch or lunch main dish. The spinach, cheese and shiitakes are good counterpoints to the nutty-tasting sunburst. Try the same filling in large zucchini or yellow squash.
4 medium sunburst squash, each 3½ to 4 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 shiitake or button mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 large bunch fresh spinach leaves, carefully washed and finely chopped
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Fill a large pot three-fourths full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Drop the squash into the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain well and let cool.
Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each squash, removing just enough so that it will stand upright. Then slice off the tops (approximately ½ inch thick) and hollow out the centers, leaving a thin shell. Set aside. (Reserve the nominal amount of squash removed from the centers for another use or simply discard.)
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic and sauté approximately 10 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the soy sauce and add the spinach. Raise the heat to medium-high. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes, or until the spinach is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly, then season with the nutmeg, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Stir in the egg and ½ cup of the Gruyère and mix well. Mound the mixture into the hollowed-out squash. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish just large enough to hold all the squash upright. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese over the tops. Pour hot water into the pan to a depth of ½ inch. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the filling is set and the squash is tender.