What a terrible thing it is- to be able to step out in the yard, pick an armful of fresh veggies and make dinner happen. Just terrible. Especially right now, with all the tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, onions, garlic...... just awful.
Tonight we're having dinner from our garden! Fresh yellow summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions- the only thing we didn't grow was the hamburger and Parmesan cheese. This is a quick to put together dish, pop it in the oven and relax for 20 minutes or so, then get some pasta water going, toss in some pasta to go alongside and voila! Dinner is served.
Italian Stuffed Summer Squash
- 1 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- big pinch crushed red pepper
- 2-3 tb minced fresh marjoram, basil, oregano or a combo
- 1 lb hamburger
- 2 cups tomato sauce or puree
Wash squash well and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard. Also scoop out some of the flesh leaving a half inch shell. Chop squash flesh.
In large oven-safe skillet heat a couple TB oil. Add onion, garlic and chopped squash. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Crumble ground beef into skillet. Cook and stir until beef is cooked. Add herbs and pepper. Add half the tomato sauce to skillet, then stuff the squash halves with mixture. Add all remaining sauce to skillet, stir, and nestle the squash in the mixture. Sprinkle with topping mixture (see below). Place in 425 degree oven about 20-30 minutes until squash is tender but not mushy.
Remove carefully to plates, cut in half if you like, and serve with pasta and extra sauce.
- 1/4 cup panko
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- pinch of herbs used in dish
Combine in small bowl. Sprinkle over squash. Drizzle with a tiny touch of oil. The topping bakes up crunchy from the panko and salty from the Parmesan cheese and makes the perfect textural element.
You'll notice I did not precook my squash before stuffing. I prefer mine to still have some hint of crisp to it, but you can certainly precook yours if you like it softer. Put on a microwave safe plate,sprinkle with a few drops of water and cover tightly with plastic wrap- cook for a minute or two until barely tender.
All you need now is a hunk of crusty bread and a breezy spot on the patio to enjoy a perfect summertime dinner!