Mediterranean Beef Stuffed Squash
Stuffed squash with Greek-spiced meat, tomatoes, onions, peppers, breadcrumbs and a melted Italian blend of cheeses on top. It’s a bit like that marvelous Greek dish Moussaka, but stuffed into a summer squash rather than a layered eggplant dish.
I have to apologize ahead of time because I didn’t write down the ingredients as I was making the dish. The meat mixture I’m quite sure of, but for the rest I’m relying on memory. Stuffed squash is very forgiving on quantities so I am pretty sure you’ll be okay without exact measurements. I also want to note that I made only one stuffed squash since I was cooking for myself, but you should have enough meat for 3 – 4 people (or 6 – 8 squash halves).
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 lb. ground beef, venison or other (I used ground venison)
- 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1/2 of a small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup of red wine
- 1/4 cup of the meat mixture
- 1 small - medium summer squash or zucchini
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 clove garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 small/medium fresh garden tomato, chopped
- A few fresh basil & oregano leaves, chopped (to taste)
- About 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (for gluten free, use gluten free breadcrumbs)
- Shredded Italian blend of cheeses
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the squash lengthwise and, using a grapefruit spoon, hollow out the inside of the squash, taking care to leave a thin shell (with no holes in it) about 1/4 inch thick. Don't worry if it is not exactly 1/4 inch ... this is a very forgiving recipe.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and the spices and let the spices cook until they are toasted and fragrant. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add the peppers and onions and saute until soft. Pour in the red wine and cook some more, until the wine is mostly gone. Season with salt & fresh ground pepper.
- Chop up the squash that you removed from the shell. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Once it is warm, add the olive oil and swirl it around, then add the chopped squash, onion and garlic. Cook and stir for several minutes until the onion is soft and translucent and the squash is tender. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and breadcrumbs. Add the meat. The mixture should start to stick together nicely. If it doesn't, add more breadcrumbs. Add salt & fresh-ground pepper and some chopped fresh basil and oregano leaves to taste.
- Take the squash shells and push the filling mixture into them, smushing the filling in with your spoon (or fingers) and letting the filling mound to get most of the mixture into the squash shells. If you have extra filling, put it in ramekins or a small oven-safe bowl. Sprinkle it all with shredded cheese.
- Set the squash on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted and bubble on top.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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