OUR OWN: One-ball and eight-ball squash

squashThe one ball? It’s yellow. The eight ball? Green. These squash balls are the spherical hybrids of their elongated summer squash counterparts.

The eight ball shares the same dark, speckled green skin as regular zucchini.

Grill them, saute them, or bake them, hollow them out, then stuff with whatever you’d like.

Here’s a recipe for stuffing them.

  • 2 “1&8-ball” squash
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons oil (for variety use a mixture of coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (plus a little more for topping)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg, well-beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a few tablespoons of bread crumbs, for topping

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Lightly oil a shallow baking dish that will hold the squash.

Saute the onion in the coconut/olive oil mixture over medium-high heat until soft.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.  Start adding handfuls of the spinach and cook until all the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add the dried fruit and walnuts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside, uncovered, to allow the fruit to plump up with the heat and moisture.

In the meantime, halve the squash, crosswise.   You could also just cut off the tops and cook the caps for a different presentation.  Cut a sliver from the bottom of each half so that they will sit up straight.  (If you are using large zucchini squash, cut off the ends, then cut crosswise into ~2-inch long pieces.) Hollow out a bowl in the center of the squash, removing the pulpy-seedy part.  You can use the squash insides for another recipe, if you desire.

Lightly spray the insides of the squash with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for around 20 minutes or until the squash is just beginning to get tender.  Remove from oven and pour out any accumulated juices.

Place the spinach mixture in a bowl and mix in the Parmesan cheese and sour cream.  Add the egg and mix well.

Spoon the spinach mixture into the squash halves.  Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Bake until the squash halves are tender, but not mushy, and the tops are lightly browned (around 15 minutes).  Serve hot or at room temperature.

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