Grilled Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Grilled stuffed pattypan squash


I was so excited that I held off grilling the single pattypan squash in my CSA box a couple weeks ago, because the next week yielded a couple more. Finally, I could stuff them. The one problem with stuffing them, though, was that I would have to bake them. I am endeavoring not to use my oven at all this summer, because our A/C can’t compete against the double whammy of summer heat outside and oven heat inside. What to do? Well, the week prior I had roasted some veggies on the grill in a foil packet. Why couldn’t I do the same with stuffed squash? After I stuffed the squash, I drizzled them with olive oil and wrapped them in foil. I arranged the foil so that it could be easily opened over the tops of the squash so that they could be opened for the last few minutes of cooking to let the tops crisp up a little. They turned out beautifully, so I’m sure we’ll experiment with more roasting and baking on the grill this summer.

For the stuffing, I used my basic, vegetarian stuffing recipe. This is delicious and can be used in anything from these squash to mushrooms (which is what I usually stuff with this), peppers, or zucchini. All you have to do is sub the chopped squash with some of the vegetable you are stuffing chopped up.

Grilled Stuffed Pattypan Squash

  • 4-5 medium pattypan squash
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 large shallots or a small onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 10-13 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 C plain bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 C pine nuts, toasted
  • sea salt and pepper

First, prepare the squash. Slice a little off the blossom ends of the squash so they will sit flat. Cut off the stem end of the squash, so that you can scoop out the seeds. Remove the  seeds and discard, then scoop out some of the flesh, chop it, and set it aside. You want to leave about a 1/4″ of flesh so that the squash will hold its structure after its cooked. You may need to supplement what you’ve scooped out with a small squash chopped up, depending on how meaty your squash are. You’re looking for about a cup of squash.

Next, prepare the stuffing. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and the butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions, garlic, and red pepper to the pan. Saute until the onion is soft and clear, then add the chopped squash to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the squash is tender. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any stuck bits. Reduce the wine until it is gone, then add the basil and parsley. Stir to wilt the basil. Add bread crumbs and stir to combine and absorb liquid. Mix in the cheese and pine nuts, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff the squash liberally, packing the stuffing down in each one. Mound the stuffing up over the tops a little.

To ready the squash for the grill. tear off pieces of foil that will wrap around the squash, but not too far. You want to be able to open the foil packets easily. Put each squash in the center of the packet, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Seal them up, and grill them for about 15 minutes. Open the packets, and grill for another 3-5 minutes to crisp the stuffing.

Serves 4.


Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Our farmers told us we’d be seeing potatoes pretty much every week in our CSA box, and I knew at some point I would want to make a simple potato salad. This was the week. I detest mayo, so I knew we would be making something with either mustard or a vinaigrette dressing the potatoes. (As an aside, doesn’t everyone have a particular way they want their potato salad made? Some must have mayo, others pickles, some no mayo, some no mustard, so on and so forth). In the end, I decided to combine both the mustard and the vinaigrette, and keep the ingredients fresh and simple so that the dressing and the potatoes would really shine. This was truly delicious.
Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 1-2 pounds new red potatoes
  • 4-5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 T basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 T parsley, chopped

mustard vinaigrette

  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1  clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Quarter the potatoes, or cut them all into equally sized pieces about an inch in size, maybe a little smaller. Place the potatoes in a steamer basket, sprinkle liberally with salt, and steam for about 15 minutes. The potatoes should be fork tender. While the potatoes are steaming, whisk all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette together in a bowl. When the potatoes are done, remove them to a serving bowl and immediately pour over the vinaigrette. Shortly before serving, fold in the scallions and herbs. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6.

Mexican Squash

Last summer, my great-uncle gifted me with a “mess” of yellow crookneck squash. To those that don’t speak Southern, that’s a lot of squash. I fried some and made a handful of different recipes before I ran out of ideas. At that point, I pulled out an old Southern Living cookbook that my Grandma had bought in the 60’s titled “Vegetables.” I browsed through it and found a recipe called “Mexican Squash.” It sounded intriguing, particularly since it called for an ingredient called comino seed.  A little Googling led me to discover that it was actually cumin. Even better. I tweaked the recipe a little, and what you see below is my version. This has become our favorite squash preparation; it’s savory and substantial, and it’s delicious served over rice.

Mexican Squash

  • canola or other neutral flavored oil
  • 2 pork chops, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds of summer squash (approximately 4-5 medium), seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 10 oz. can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies (I use original, but choose according to how much heat you want.)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried ancho chili pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 C water
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Season the pork chops with a little salt and pepper, and fry the pork chops until they are golden brown. Add the onion and let it cook until clear, about 5 minutes. When soft, add the squash, garlic, Rotel, cumin, oregano, ancho chili, and the water. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer until the squash are tender. This can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on how mature the squash are. Add the jalapenos for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Serve hot, over rice.

Serves 4-6.

Iron CSA: Week 2

CSA week 2

Considering that we had out of town guests visiting last week and had a few evenings in which we dined out, I am amazed at how well we did at eating what was in our box! This week, even though we ate in every night, it was harder to get through our box. Game on, meal planning. Game on.
Week Two
Here’s what we got (and what we did with it):
  • 2 zucchini (got soft and yucky before the end of the week)
  • 1 pattypan squash (kicked to next week)
  • 1 pickling cucumber (sliced and eaten with salt and pepper)
  • a scant pound of new red potatoes (grilled with last week’s onions in a packet)
  • 1 head of cabbage (kicked to next week)
  • 3 crookneck squash (1 was diced and added to the Feisty Green Beans below, the rest are going to next week)
  • 2 peaches (eaten out of hand)
  • 2 onions (kicked to next week)
  • 1 tomato (rotted after a couple days. MEH.)
  • a scant pound of green beans (half went into this Cashew Curry and the rest went into a half recipe of these Feisty Green Beans.)

Leftovers From Last Week

So far, so good! Some of these recipes were amazing! We particularly loved the Feisty Green Beans and the Sweet Cabbage Slaw.  If you are participating in a CSA, do you manage to finish everything in your box each week? If you don’t, what do you do with the leftovers?

Iron CSA: Week 1

For our anniversary this year, Jeremy and I decided to purchase a small CSA share. We ordered from Bray Family Farms, a local farm near where we live. Last Saturday was the first pickup, and I’m excited to see what comes for the rest of season. I felt a bit like I was playing Iron Chef in trying to figure out what I was going to do with my box contents, and I thought it would be fun to track how we cook and eat everything. Unfortunately, I decided to do this after we had eaten most of the first box, so there’s no picture of that one.
Week One
Here’s what we got (and what we did with it):
  • 1 zucchini (sliced thin, seasoned with Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning, and grilled as a side)
  • 1 pattypan squash (sliced into rounds, seasoned with Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning, and grilled as a side)
  • 3 pickling cucumbers (sliced and eaten raw with a little salt and pepper)
  • 1 pound or so of new red potatoes (I made this Tempeh Curry Recipe)
  • 1 head of cabbage (half used to make this Spicy Cilantro-Peanut slaw, the other half is TBD for next week).
  • 2 crookneck squash (sliced thin and fried)
  • 2 peaches (eaten out of hand)
  • 3 fairly mature spring onions (kicking those to next week)

I can’t wait to tear into this week’s box. Have you purchased a CSA share this year or in the past? If so, what do you like about it?

Fried Squash

fried squash

This is one of those simple, homely recipes that I love. My Grandma used to fry squash regularly when I was growing up, and I don’t really remember her preparing squash any other way. I’m sure she must have made some casseroles, but I don’t recall those. Now, I always feel like the first yellow crookneck squash of the season need to be sliced and fried the way she used to. The rest of the summer crop can be used more creatively, but fried squash always helps me ring in the summer.

I’ve written the recipe below to serve four, and it’s very adaptable and easy to play with. I generally allow one squash per person if they are small. We always use a mix of flour and cornmeal to bread our squash, but you could use some breadcrumbs or panko in place of the cornmeal, if that’s your preference. The squash can be seasoned simply with salt and pepper, or you can use a favorite spice blend on them. It’s up to you!

Fried Squash

  • canola oil for frying
  • 4 yellow crookneck squash
  • 2/3 C all purpose flour
  • 1/3 C cornmeal
  • 1 T corn starch
  • salt and pepper
  • spice blend such as Northwoods, Essence, or seasoning salt, optional

Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium high heat. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, and corn starch with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Slice the squash 1/4 inch thick. Season the slices with salt and pepper or a spice blend on both sides. Dredge the slices in the bowl and lay them aside until the the oil is hot. When the oil is hot, dredge each slice through the flour mixture again before dropping them in the pan. Be sure to shake off excess flour. Fry each slice for 4 minutes per side, frying in batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd the pan. Remove to a rack or paper towel lined plate to drain. Serve hot! Tomato Onion Chutney is a great accompaniment.

Serves 4.

Chicken Tacos

This isn’t a terribly original recipe, but it’s dead easy and absolutely delicious. It’s a mashup of the Penzey’s recipe for chicken tacos, and a chicken taco recipe from a back issue of Real Simple. It’s become my go-to taco recipe

  •  1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 4.5 oz can diced green chiles
  • 2 T Penzey’s chicken taco seasoning
  • 1/2 C of water

Heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips, then saute in the oil until they begin to turn brown all over. Remove the chicken to a plate, and add a little more oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and saute until soft and clear. Return the chicken to the pan and sprinkle the lime juice over the chicken and onion. Stir well to coat and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the green chiles. Season everything with the chicken taco seasoning, and stir to coat. Let cook another minute or two, then add the water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, or longer if you like less sauce.

Serve with hard or soft tortillas, and your favorite taco condiments. These are great dressed simply with a little pico de gallo, and maybe some pickled jalapeno slices for extra kick!

Makes approximately six tacos if you’re hungry and eight if you’re feeling generous.