Even though it is summer here in Hogtown, there is almost no summer squash to be found except those end-of-the-season giants. I always think stuffed squash or creamed soup when I am tempted by one of those behemoths, and it has been way to hot for soup, so it is time to stuff some squash.
My dad's sister-in-law. Auntie Jo, taught me how to stuff squash in the traditional Mediterranean style. Usually made with a straight squash, she would use a potato peeler and then a small spoon to create a cavity the length of each squash. Traditional kousa is stuffed with ground meat and rice, but I'm in the mood for veggies and cheese, so follow along as I stuff some yellow crookneck squash, kousa style.
Start by cutting the tops off of a crookneck, or just the stem of of other squashes. Use a melon baller or apple corer or potato peeler and spoon to remove seeds and create a cavity, without breaking through the skin or bottom. Cut the bottom just enough to allow the squash to stand. Chop squash tops into small pieces and set aside.
Chop 1/2 cup of red or white onion and quarter 12-15 grape or cherry tomatoes.
Saute onions in olive oil until tender. Stir in squash and cook until almost tender. Add tomatoes and let simmer 5-10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Put a small spoonful of sundried tomato-basil chevre in the bottom of each squash cavity and fill each with veggies. Push down lightly and top with another spoonful of chevre and a sprinkle of panko or bread crumbs. Arrange remaining stuffing veggies around squash. Pour a splash of sherry, white wine or veggie stock in bottom of casserole over veggies.
Cover and bake in a 350 oven until squash feels tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover and cook additional 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Here is the complete dinner plate - stuffed squash, sauteed cabbage and carrots, plus a baked sweet potato!