Stuffed Pattypan Squash with Sausage, Quinoa and Goat Cheese

One of my favorite challenges is buying a vegetable at the farmer’s market that I have no earthly idea what to do with. These pattypan squashes were a total impulse buy from Graham Farms. They’re so beautiful, how can you resist?  We were feeling risky, so we also bought a package of pork sausage from Graham Farms. We’ve tried their quail and we often buy their vegetables, so I was excited to try their pork sausage. Combined with green onions from Farmer John and chevre from Glades Ridge, it was an almost 100% local dish.

Stuffed Pattypan Squash with Sausage, Quinoa and Goat Cheese

5 pattypan squash, about fist-sized
1 lb fresh mild pork sausage
1 c cooked quinoa
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tbl olive oil
1/2 c chevre

Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Get a large roasting pan that all of the squashes can fit in tightly so they don’t tip over. Carefully pare a circle in the top of each squash, leaving plenty of edges in place, and pop out the circle of flesh. Then take a sturdy spoon and scrape out all of the seeds, leaving plenty of squash flesh in the bottom and sides. Set aside the thick caps of flesh and discard the seeds. Chop the caps, skin and all.

When the water boils, carefully lower squashes into the boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes or until cooked about halfway through. A knife should be able to pierce the thickest part of the squash but it shouldn’t be too soft. Cook in batches if necessary.

Turn the oven on to 350.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until no longer pink, “chopping” the sausage up with the spatula and breaking up any clumps. When the sausage is cooked, add the chopped squash, garlic, and the green onion. Add olive oil if the mixture seems dry. Saute until the squash is well-browned and softened. Then turn off the heat and add the quinoa. Stir until everything is well-mixed.

Carefully spoon the filling into each squash, filling the cavity to the top. Sprinkle each with salt & pepper, and then crumble the goat cheese over top. Wedge into a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned.

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