Stuffed Summer Squash with Tomato Lemon Salad
Stuffed squash with salad - a meat-free recipe
I do like to cook with seasonal ingredients and these beautiful summery-yellow squash were almost begging to be bought from the grocery store.
I've only recently started to use squash when I'm cooking and I've really no idea why I didn't realize before just how adaptable this ingredient is. What's more, I found out that it also have several health benefits so that adds yet another reason to make the most of it when it's in season.
In common with every meal I cook, I had to use these squash in a dish that would be quick and easy to make - plus tasty. of course. The shape of the squash, and the fact that they have a seed cavity that must be cleaned out, means that they simply cry out to be stuffed with a delicious savory filling.
They are packed with nutrients too so if I feel that we've been overdoing things a little (that extra glass of wine with dinner too many times...) then these tasty vegetables are a great way to get things back onto track. The only ingredients needed are ones that I usually have in stock and these take only minutes to prepare before baking in the oven.
Photographs © BritFlorida.
To serve two
- 3 small summer squash
- 2 mushrooms
- 1 tomato
- 1 small leek
- 2 oz. cheese (I used Amish Swiss)
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomato & garlic pesto
- Lemon wedges
- 1 clove garlic
- Small slice wholewheat bread
- A little olive oil
SIMMER TO SOFTEN
Preheat the oven to 400°. Boil a pan of water on the stove. Clean the squash and cut off the little knobbly bit at the bulbous end and add the whole vegetables and let them simmer until they are slightly soft, Depending on the size, this will take about five minutes.
PREPARE THE LEEK
While they are simmering, prepare the leek. Cut off any older, tougher leaves and wash the leeks well. Retain a little of the very tender parts to decorate the salad. Slice them into rings and wash well again under running water. Now chop the rings and wash yet again. Yes, I am a little neurotic about getting leeks clean - they seem to have so many crevices that specks of soil can hide in!
GARLIC AND MUSHROOMS
Clean and chop the mushrooms and peel and chop the garlic. Add the oil to a frying pan or skillet on a medium heat.
These are very cool and are the ones I use. I have a very small kitchen so I have to make the most of every drop of space.
By choosing these - they store inside each other - I was sure that I was making the most of my limited cupboard area.You can see mine in the shot above of the ingredients, holding the tomato pesto.
Pat the leeks dry using paper towel and sauté them in the olive oil until they are a beautiful bright green color. That should only take a couple of minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and garlic. Leave them on a low heat, stirring once in a while.
Slice these in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. They come away very easily. Arrange them top-to-tail in an ovenproof dish.
Make the stuffing
Stir the tomato pesto into the mushroom / garlic. leek mix. Grate the bread into the pan also, followed by the cheese. Stir well. The cheese will start to melt so now remove the pan from the heat. Pile the stuffing into the cavities in the squash as shown below.
Bake for about 20 minutes.
Quick and easy salad
During baking time, simply slice the tomato onto individual plates to be served separately. Garnish with the reserved tender leek slices and lemon wedges.
When I plated this dish, I decided that they looked rather like little yellow fishes so I garnished them with basil leaves to make a 'tail'. There is room in cooking for a little silliness from time to time!
Need more inspiration? Amazon has a huge range of vegetarian cookbooks that can be delivered right to your door. These are some of my particular favorites - lots of ideas and info.
More meat-free recipes
- Quick & easy mushrooms in red wine with pasta recipe
See a delicious recipe for mushrooms in a red wine sauce. Served with pasta this is a delicious meat-free meal and also makes a tasty side dish.
- Not quite Eggplant Parmesan recipe
I wanted to make Eggplant Parmesan but there was one big problem- no Parmesan in the house. Never mind, I developed this meat free recipe instead and it's delicious - plus quick and easy to make.
- Boston Bake - a meat free recipe using leftovers
This is a delicious meat-free recipe that uses up leftovers. It can also be made from scratch using foods that you probably already have. It's delicious, quick, easy to make and very inexpensive.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson