Okay, first of all this photo isn't of a gem squash. They aren't available yet, but when they are I love them because they are cute and round and are grown about a mile from where I live. The seeds used to start Big Ranch Farm's first crop were gifts from expatriate Afrikaners who missed the vegetable that was part of their diet at home. The squash are fairly firm and take a long time to bake, but another round squash that is easy to find and cooks quicker is Ronde de Nice. Stuffed squash may seem a little dull, but this recipe is anything but. The breadcrumbs sauteed with shallots combined with tangy feta make it a great side dish or vegetarian main course. Try it with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for dinner. - lori —Lori Lyn Narlock
Test Kitchen Notes
An elegant variation on stuffed zucchini (or gem squash, if you're so lucky). The squash pulp is bolstered by breadcrumbs and perfumed with white wine, thyme and feta. Feel free to leave out any liquid that escapes from the cooked pulp and, if you want your filling extra brown and crispy, pass the squash under the broiler for a minute after baking. - Kristen —The Editors
baseball-size globe squash or long zucchini
large shallots, chopped
crumbled feta cheese
freshly grated hard cheese, such as an aged goat cheese, dry jack, or Asiago cheese
Cut the tops off the squash and scoop out the pulp to make a hollow container. If using long zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the center to create a canoe-like container. Chop the pulp into a coarse mixture and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pulp and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the feta, hard cheese, wine, thyme, salt, and paprika.
Divide the filling among the squash. Arrange in a small baking dish and bake until the squash is tender, 45 to 50 minutes for Gem squash, about 30 minutes for Ronde de Nice or zucchini. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.