Oog. After two nights of holiday celebrations, I was in a meat coma. It was worth it, of course—I had THE BEST STEAK OF MY LIFE at a fancy restaurant with my in-laws, and then ate myself silly on hot dogs and, yes, sheet cake at a barbeque. And did I mention the wine? Oy vey. By Sunday I was just sort of flopping around the house, muttering. I needed something a little lighter to, you know, balance things out. Fortunately, I had these:
They looked so pretty.
The problem is that R is a self-professed non-squash person. I hesitate to say squash hater, but maybe I should just call a spade a spade. I didn’t want to resort to food trickery to mask the squashiness of them (you know, grate it and hide it in something). After all, a marriage built on lying about squash is just a house of cards! I wanted him to know he was eating squash, but I also wanted him to like it. So I thought of my ace-in-the-hole: stuffing them and grilling them! That makes everything palatable, right? Battering and deep frying run a close second as far as making things delicious goes, but remember, I was trying to pull out of a meat coma!
Rummaging around in the kitchen, I found some spinach, an onion, grape tomatoes that were starting to get wrinkly, goat’s milk feta, and bulgar wheat. It seemed if the right spices were combined with all this, it might just come together, even for a non-squash person. My garden-crazy Fidel Castro look-alike neighbor also gave me a giant wad of fresh lettuce that begged to be incorporated somehow.
The final result used tumeric and cumin to spice it up, and was served over a bed of the fresh lettuce. Success! The whole thing was proclaimed delicious by the non-squash person. I would definitely make these again, but I wonder what else I could do to these to jazz them up—maybe raisins in the stuffing? Different spices? Amaranth instead of bulgar? A different cheese? The possibilities seem so endless, and I would love suggestions for helping this to evolve.
Grilled Mediterranean Stuffed Squash
My measurements here were very loosey-goosey! So sorry about that. It was improvisational, and based on our specific tastes.
4 summer squash (Our produce box labeled them as carnival squash, but I thought they were called patty pan. I think any squash would do here.)
1/4 – -1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup bulgar wheat
2 cups spinach, chopped
1/4 – 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for sauteing (1 or 2 Tbs?)
Cook bulgar according to directions (Usually you boil water–about the same amount of water as bulgar. Add bulgar to water, cover, remove from heat. Let sit for 10 or 15 minutes, until bulgar is soft.).
Heat grill. I have a gas grill, and I had it turned about half-way up.
Cut tops off of squash, a la jack-o-lanterns, and scoop out innards. Chop innards and reserve. Set aside the squash bodies for later.
Saute onions over medium/low heat in olive oil until softened and just beginning to brown. Add tumeric and cumin, saute for another minute or two. Then add chopped squash innards. Saute for a minute or two, toss in spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Stir in cooked bulgar, then add salt and pepper, tomatoes, and feta.
Stuff squash with mixture.
Place squash on grill, cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until squash soften and begin to get that lovely charred thing going on. Serve over a bed of freshly-picked lettuce from your neighbor.