This year I grew zucchini patisson strie, which are beautifully striped scalloped squash. When fully grown their skins are quite tough, so it is recommended that you eat them when they are small; however, their bold colors do not develop ’til just before maturity. Do you see where I am going with this? Having grown them specifically for their aesthetic qualities, I needed to find a way to enjoy them when fully grown.
I’ve seen several recipes for stuffed winter squash, so I thought I would put my spin on it with this tough-skinned cousin!
Cajun Stuffed Summer Squash
4 med scalloped summer squash
1/2 cup dried black beans
1/2 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cups dried northern beans
4-1/2 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 purple beauty pepper, chopped (any bell pepper variety will do)
For the Cajun seasoning I used equal parts salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper (hot), garlic powder, and chili powder to one part smoked paprika.
Place squash in a very large pot with about an inch of water, cover and bring to a boil. I had to use foil to cover mine. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until squash skins can be pierced with a fork. Remove from pot and allow to cool so that you may touch them.
While squash is cooling rinse beans and place in a pressure cooker with water and olive oil. Cook for 25 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. Quick-cool beans by running pressure cooker under cold water, drain, rinse, and set aside. If you do not have a pressure cooker (get one) soak beans overnight, then bring to a boil; boil hard for an hour (adding water as needed), check for doneness. If beans are still hard, continue boiling ’til soft. Like I said, get a pressure cooker, life with dried beans is so much easier!
Once squash has cooled to the touch, slice off the top and scoop out seeds. With an ice cream scoop carefully remove cooked squash leaving approximately 1/4-inch flesh on the inside. Chop the cooked squash into chunks and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large pot sauté onion, celery, and pepper over med-high heat for about 5 minutes; add garlic, squash, and seasonings, stir well to incorporate and cook another 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add beans, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Place the squash shells into a large baking dish and stuff them with bean mixture. Don’t be afraid to pack them full! If any stuffing is left over it can be piled into the baking dish between the shells. Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes, or until the tops start to brown.
Since I have so many of these squash, I’m going to make more of the stuffing and use it as a burrito filling. I’ll just add a bit of cheese to each tortilla, roll them up, and wrap each one individually and then freeze them. This way when I am short on time I can just defrost and reheat!