Vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free friends on the guest list? No need to stress if you have this go-to dish in your repertoire. Branch out from the mundane summer menu of veggie burgers or tofu pups and serve the unexpected.
Farm markets are brimming with colorful varieties of summer squash, but there’s one that is a standout in flavor, texture and appearance. Pattypan squash boasts a hint of sweetness and creamy texture and is the ideal shape and size for stuffing. Hearty lentils and chewy brown rice in a fresh herb tomato sauce transforms this whimsical squash into a protein packed, flavorful main dish for vegetarians and omnivores alike.Stuffed Pattypan Squash
6 medium pattypan squash
1 tablespoon olive oil additional for brushing
¼ cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup cooked green or brown lentils
1 cup cooked short grain brown rice
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the tops off the stem side of each pattypan squash and set aside. Fill a large deep skillet with water and bring to a slow boil. Place the squash cut side down in the skillet and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Using a spoon, carefully scoop flesh from inside each squash, forming a ½ shell all around. Chop the flesh and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook an additional minute. Add chopped squash, salt and pepper, parsley, basil and oregano and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add lentils and brown rice, stir to combine. Adjust seasonings.
Place the hollowed squash and squash lids in an oiled baking dish. Spoon the stuffing mixture into each squash, cover dish and bake 20 minutes. Uncover, brush squash and lids with olive oil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and place lids on each squash. Garnish with fresh basil.
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