Quinoa Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Patty Pan Squash served on a plate with a basil garnish
Starburst or patty pan; whatever you call these squash they're delicious and beautiful to serve. I made these after a trip to The Corner Market in Eugene. They had so many and I wanted to make something that was in season and abundantly available in the Pacific Northwest. Here's what I came up with.

These are chock-full of protein and flavor from quinoa, cheese, a little bacon, some onion... you get the idea. I tried a few variations but the trick to keeping the stuffing together was to add an egg white to the quinoa mixture before baking.

These are surprisingly filling, so feel free to serve it as a main dish.

Time: 1 hour
Level: Average
Yield: Serves 2 (4 as a side dish)

Patty pan squash cut at the widest part to reveal the scalloped edgeIngredients:
4 pattypan squash
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 slice bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 egg white

Patty Pan Squash trimmed so the bottoms are flatPre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup stock and minced onions and bring to a boil. Turn heat to simmer and cook until all the liquid is absorbed (10-15 minutes). Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Wash patty pans and cut along the widest part. Make sure the bottoms are flat by cutting off the stem ends.
Scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh leaving enough of the sides to hold the shape after they're cooked. I try to leave about 1/2 inch. Lightly oil the squash and  arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Patty Pan Squash with insides scooped. Ready to be stuffedCook one slice of bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan.
In the same pan cut up the flesh and seeds (they're edible) of the squash and saute on medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

Crumble the bacon and add to the quinoa.
Add squash, shredded cheese and egg white to the quinoa. Mix thoroughly.

When the squash is tender (about 15 minutes) but not completely cooked, remove from the oven.
Quinoa Stuffed Patty Pan Squash ready to be covered with foil and baked
Spoon the quinoa into the center of each squash half.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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