Stuffed Summer Squash + Side Salad
Why we love it:
- 1 cup Wild Rice Blend (not plain wild rice which is all black, but the multicolor blend)
- 2 cups Water
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided)
- 4 whole Zucchini (large, nicely shaped ones)
- 12 ounces Sausage (obviously omit or use vegetarian for meat free)
- 1⁄3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 1⁄4 Yellow Onion (small dice)
- 1 Carrot (small dice)
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 ear Corn (shucked)
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
- 1⁄4 bunch Basil (torn or sliced)
- 5 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
- 1⁄4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Honey
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly cracked)
Place the rice, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 cups of water into a small pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring it to a boil, then stir well. Turn down the heat and place the lid on. Stem for about 35-40 minutes or until the water is absorbed and rice is tender.
When it’s done, turn out into a bowl and fluff, letting it cool a bit.
2. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES
3. CARVE ZUCCHINI
Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, making “boats” if using classic green zucchini. Use a regular old kitchen teaspoon to carve out the center where its soft, leaving a thin but sturdy shell in tact. If some breaks, it’s fine, just keep going carefully. Repeat with all of the squash halves. Save the scooped out insides on your cutting board.
Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil across all of the pieces. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the onion. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, cherry tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt. If using, slice the sausage into thin rounds and add them to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they’re browned on on side and stir to flip them.
Small dice the carrot. Add it too. Coarsely chop up the insides of the squash and add that to the pan. Finally, peel the corn and wipe off the clinging silks as best you can then slice the kernels from the cob. (Save the cob in the freezer for your next batch of stock, yum), and add the corn to the pan.
Saute all of the veggies for about 5-6 minutes until they’re softer and smelling delicious. Scrape this mixture into the bowl of rice. Set aside roughly 2 Tablespoons of parmesan cheese and add the rest to the bowl. Toss to coat. Give it a taste and consider more salt or fresh black pepper. Tear or slice the basil leaves and add to the filling.
(Especially in the summer, we love this bright and fresh with no spices, but you could add ½ teaspoon of cumin, chili powder, and/or garlic powder to kick it up a notch).
If you can hold the cooked zucchini boats in your palm over the bowl of filling, this is an easy way to fill them. But if they’re too hot, just use a spoon to pack the filling evenly into all of the pieces, really pressing it down and mounding up any extra over the top edge. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the parmesan you set aside. If you have filling that doesn’t stay in or fit in the squash, just heap it on the side of the pan and serve it with the final dish.
Bake stuffed squash for 5 minutes.
6. SALAD DRESSING
While they’re baking toss the salad greens in a bowl with dressing. If you’re making the dressing from scratch, set out a little mason jar and add the ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt. Shake to combine. Add the remaining olive oil (which should be about ¼ cup or so). Shake again to emulsify.
Serve 1-2 squash halves with a big handful of salad. Top squash with the last Tablespoon of parmesan.