I know, it's another pattypan squash recipe but, I swear, well worth having. This makes an elegant presentation (not mine, but all you great chefs out there can do it!) and it's so easy -- never mind easy, it's jaw-dropping delicious, and you simply have to try it. After all, it's spring. The gardens are producing. There will be more.
Served with a Peppered Delmonico Steak and Roasted Onion, eyes were on the plate and conversation at a grunting level. (Oh, Lordy, I forgot a green contrast color, AGAIN!)
The harvesting begins and, this year, I have very happy gardens. And, the bees are back! Yay! Up to three per flower! Not Bumble bees, but honey bees. Could the plague be behind us? I hope so. Plan on getting my own mini-hive, this year, too.
To get started, you'll want to hollow out the pattypan squashes, leaving a little less than a quarter-inch sidewall. The pulp will go into the stuffing. While hollowing, chopping, mincing, and doing all the other preparations, pre-cook your rice. I used 3/4 cup of arborio rice, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and just enough chicken stock, approximately two cups, to bring it to an al dente stage. When done, remove from heat.
Preheat the solar oven to 225F. Lightly grease your baking dish or line it with tinfoil that has been lightly sprayed with oil.
Pattypan Squash Stuffing
Pattypan squash pulp, chopped fine
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
1 T fresh mint, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-3/4 cups cooked rice mixture
1/2 tsp butter per stuffed squash
Combine all ingredients, except butter, in a large mixing bowl. Carefully fill squash cavities, ending with a rounded top mound. Top each filled squash with 1/2 tsp butter; place in baking dish, cover and bake in solar oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. (My oven rose to 300F). Check for doneness after first hour by lightly pressing against stuffing. If it doesn't give easily, remove cover and return squash to solar oven for another 20 minutes for browning.
I baked the onions alongside the squash. Placed each in a tinfoil 'bowl' and sprinkled them with some salt, pepper, and a bit of beef bouillon. Covered the pan and let the sun do its thing. Doesn't it make a pretty holiday plate? Well, if I had remembered the green garni sprig...