Bowls? Who needs them!
During the summer, we rely on fresh produce in every possible way, and that extends to our vessels. Peppers, tomatoes and roly poly squash are not only inspiration for the main course, but also become the perfect containers for stuffing with cheese, meat and anything else we have laying around.
Soa Davies was the first one to turn us onto the potential of stuffing our veggies. In Volume 2, her recipe for baked tomatoes, stuffed with bread, sausage and cheese, is like an inside-out slice of pizza.
Jessica Battilana, author of Corn, riffs on the classic dish, chiles rellenos with a non-fried recipe that stuffs poblanos with a cheesy corn-studded filling.
And in our most recent edition, Summer Squash, adorable patty pan squash are hollowed out and baked with a filling of lamb and couscous.
Best of all? This method is an amazing make-ahead strategy; stuff your vegetables ahead of time, then bake them off when hunger strikes (or when guests arrive). Certain vegetables, like squash and peppers, even freeze well.
Give it a shot with Sarah Baird’s lamb-stuffed pattypan squash from Volume 15!
Lamb-Stuffed Pattypan Squash
8 small pattypan squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup (dry) Israeli couscous, cooked according to the package instructions
1 cup crumbled feta
3 tablespoons sultanas
Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut off the stem and top of each squash so the interior is exposed and scoop out the seeds, leaving a 1/2-inch thickness of flesh inside. Rub the inside and outside of each squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the caraway seeds and cook for another minute. Add the lamb, cooking until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool. Stir in the couscous and feta.
Using a large tablespoon, fill each squash with the lamb mixture. Arrange the squash in a glass baking dish and add ½ inch of water. Bake until the squash is fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the sultanas and extra feta if desired. Serve immediately. Freeze any leftover filling.