The last time I encountered flying saucers was back in college. Let’s just say that going to school in the midst of a farming community with little to no nightlife can make you somewhat desperate for entertainment. In this case, my friends fashioned a flying saucer out of styrofoam bowls weighed down with a prophylactic full of water, and suspended it with a fishing pole from the dorm roof at night. We didn’t anticipate scaring the crap out of students, hearing screams and “what the *&@% was that?” as the unassuming ufo smacked their windows. To anyone living on J3 and J4 at that time, my sincerest apologies. But I digress.
let the disemboweling begin
One of my favorite farmers, Guy, from On the Vine at the North Scottsdale Farmers Market brought the most amazing patty pan squashes today. He recommended cutting them up, and sauteing them in a pan, but I wanted to keep their lovely shape, and make it interesting to eat for my somewhat picky husband. The recipe came down to what I bought from the farmers and had in the pantry and fridge. The process: who knew it would be so much fun to disembowel a vegetable? The result…savory and hearty deliciousness with a bit of heat. I looked over at my husband’s plate, and saw all the stuffing was gone, but the squash bowl was still on his plate. He didn’t realize the “pretty bowl” was edible. I tried hard not to roll my eyes, as I told him he could eat it. It quickly disappeared off his plate, followed by another serving. Mission accomplished.
Veggie Stuffed Flying Saucer Squash
adapted from eat’n veg’n food & recipes
Four flying saucer (patty pan) squashes
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
Scooped out squash flesh, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, chopped (devein for less heat)
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons cumin
generously add salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese, shredded (optional)
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Trim the top off four large squash to create a flat surface. Cut each squash in half, and disembowel the insides with a spoon. Run a knife through the scooped out flesh chopping into smaller bits. Note: if you are having too much fun with this, seek help.
Over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in about two tablespoons of olive oil until onions are soft and sweating. Add the squash, tomatoes, and jalapeno, and continue to saute for about 5 minutes. Add brown rice, tomato sauce kidney beans, and spinach. Gently stir to let the filling heat through, wilting the spinach, and bring the filling together. Add seasonings, and taste.
Place squash shells on top of parchment or foil lined baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into shells, top with cheese if desired, and bake for 30-35 min.