It’s that wonderful time in Vermont when we feel like we have everything at our fingertips.
The tables at the farmers markets are filled with color and texture. The little farm stands, often self-serve, that are dotted around the back roads hold just about everything one might need from raw milk to locally raised honey, syrup, meats and eggs, and breads made from our precious wheat and rye. Hunter gathering is most satisfying right about now. At this time of year, we can pride ourselves in purchasing most of our food with a very small carbon footprint, and in the north country, that is definitely important to our mental health!
Produce of every kind, almost
The produce gets me the most excited. There’s tomatoes finally, lettuce and radishes, new carrots and beets and potatoes, greens of all sorts, peas, turnips, green beans, fennel, onions, scallions, mushrooms, new garlic and garlic scapes, and a bounty of herbs of every type. No sweet corn for a bit, but we have raspberries and blueberries, so we’re happy.
Enter, the summer squash
The squash is here. Zucchini and summer squash of all sizes and shapes from little round balls to curved yellow delights. One of our favorites is patty pan squash, and after my farm foraging this past weekend, I decided to stuff my lovely little yellow gems. I like to keep it simple, so the lovely flavor of the squash shines through. A bit of garlic, a little onion and parsley, and just because I had some left-over in the refrigerator, a touch of pickled ginger.
Saturday night supper
This was Saturday night supper with a little salad on the side. Very satisfying. This time around, I used the food processor to make the stuffing with a finer texture. You can just as easily chop everything with a knife, including the bread!
If you can’t find patty pan squash, use any summer squash you have! This is tasty in a little zucchini boat. You can add other herbs if you like, use leeks or scallions rather than the onion, or toss in some browned vegan or local sausage if the meat eaters need a little something extra. It’s always about what you like best, and what you find at the market that activates your taste buds. Eat what is fresh and best, and you won’t go wrong.
Ginger Spiced Stuffed Patty Pan Squash
For each patty pan squash:
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ purple onion, minced
- 1 tbsp. parsley, minced
- 1 tsp. pickled ginger, minced
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 slice of whole wheat bread
- 1 tsp. Parmesan, dairy or vegan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray or line a baking sheet.
Slice a tiny sliver off the bottom of the squash so it will stand up. Slice off the top of the squash to make a flat area, save this top for garnish.
Scoop out some of the insides to the squash, leaving a sturdy wall all around. A melon baller works well here. Drizzle a little olive oil over the insides and season with salt and pepper.
In a food processor (or with a grater or knife) add the squash and pulse until chopped up. Toss in the garlic, ginger, onion, parsley, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes, and process to a slightly coarse texture.
Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet and add the squash mixture. Sauté until the onion and squash have released much of their juices. Place in a bowl.
In the same food processor, (no need to clean first) add the bread and pulse until coarse. Toss in with the vegetables and mix well.
Mound into the squash bodies, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, don’t forget the little tops. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 50 minutes and check with a knife inserted in the thickest part of the squash. Depending on the size of your squash, it might take a few more minutes until the stuffing gets golden and the squash tender. Serve with their little hats, and a drizzle more of olive oil.
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