I saw this neat squash at the farmers’ market. The woman who sold it to me said she often splits it open and stuffs it. With that in mind, I modeled this recipe after my mom’s stuffed bell peppers. Scallop squash is also known as pattypan or sunburst squash. I like the word “pattypan” better than scallop, but the alliteration in the recipe title just sounds so nice.
Cooking time: 35 min. prep, plus about 20 min. baking
Servings: 2 if you have other stuff with it, like a salad and dessert. But if this is all you’re eating, you’ll probably want to eat both halves.
- 1 scallop/pattypan/sunburst squash
- 1/2 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 cup fake ground beef (about half of one of those BocaBurger packs)
- 1/2 cup very garlic-y tomato sauce (or add in an extra 1/4 tsp or so of garlic powder)
- 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheese (I used white cheddar)
- 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
- pinch of fresh chopped parsley (optional)
- dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Slice the squash horizontally through the middle so you have two, flat, circular halves. Chop off the top of the squash where it was connected to the vine so that both sides lay flat. Gently scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle with a spoon and discard (these are edible because it’s summer squash, but you have to make room for the extra stuff somehow!).
- With a small, sharp knife, trace around the squash about 1/2 inch from the edge and going about 3/4 inch deep, following the shape of the squash by angling in. Gently force your spoon into the cut you just made and scrape out the flesh, leaving 1/2 inch thick shell. Chop up the pieces of flesh you cut out and put them in a small mixing bowl.
- Add the rice, fake beef, cheese, basil, pepper and parsley to the bowl with the squash in it. Add about 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 375.
- Place the squash “shells” in a baking dish. Stuff each half with half of the mixture. Top the stuffing with the remaining tomato sauce.
- Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until squash “shells” are fork tender. Don’t forget, the “shells” are edible, too.
Notes: When I bake small dishes like this, especially if it’s warm out, I use my toaster oven. It works just as well and takes much less time to heat up. However, if you are using a conventional oven, you might need to lower the temp to 360.
Also, this is one of the many things you can do with left-over rice. When I cook rice, I always make an extra serving or two for dishes like this. Fried rice is another dish that works well with day-old rice.