Stuffed squash is one of my long time favorites and a good use for an abundance of summer squash. The yogurt sauce can break but even when it’s not pretty it’s delicious! A little time consuming, but if it’s raining out and you’ve got a stack of zucchini… Depending on the size of your squash, figure 1-2 per person.
Stuffed Squash With Yogurt Sauce
For the squash:
- 6 summer squash, or zucchini, or a mix of the two
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced, or crushed in a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper
- 1 cup rice
- 1 quart full fat yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dried mint, or 1 tablespoon fresh, finely sliced for garnish
Cut a small slice off the wide end of the squash. With a squash corer, or a small spoon, carefully core the squash, leaving about 1/4″ all around. Be careful not to pierce the skin. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, sauté for 5 minutes. Add the ground lamb, breaking it into small pieces as you add it, along with the garlic, cinnamon, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well. Add the rice and mix well. Remove from heat and place in a bowl to cool.
When the mix is cool, use it to stuff the squash. The easiest way is to use your fingers, but you can do it with a small spoon. Fill the squash 3/4 full to give the rice room to expand. Set aside.
In a large pot, big enough to hold the squash, over medium heat, mix the egg, yogurt, and cornstarch. Stir continually until it comes to a boil. Do not leave it unattended or the sauce will separate! When it comes to a boil (you’re safe now), reduce the heat to low, add a clove of crushed garlic, and the squash. Cover and cook for about an hour until the rice is cooked and the squash is tender. It may need more time to fully cook the rice. Serve with the yogurt sauce and mint sprinkled on top and enjoy!
This is an old favorite and I make it whenever we’ve got lots of squash (like every summer). You’ll probably have trouble with the yogurt sauce breaking, but it’s more that it looks funky.
If you’re pressed for time, halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the centers. Stuff them and stick them together with toothpicks. They’ll be more fragile when you take them out of the pot, but it’s a lot faster than coring them.