Stuffed Summer Squash is an absolute classic dish with merquez sausage and goat cheese stuffed and baked. This makes a fantastic and delicious way to use up your garden goodies. The flavours of sausage and goat cheese truly complement each other and makes this an ideal dish for any summer meal.
This is an exceptionally baked stuffed summer squash recipe, with sausage, goat cheese, onion, along with bread crumbs and seasonings. This recipe would really hit the spot and will be the topic of your meal conversation. Made with tender summer squash with delicate soft shell and creamy white flesh is typically much more delicate and are often eaten fresh and shortly after harvest.
Merguez is a red, spicy mutton or beef based fresh sausage in North African cuisine. It is also popular in Middle East and Europe. Merguez is a fresh sausage made with lamb, beef, or a mixture stuffed into a lamb-intestine casing. It is heavily spiced with chili pepper or harissa, which gives it its characteristic piquancy and red colour, as well as other spices such as sumac, fennel, and garlic. Merguez is usually eaten grilled or with couscous.
Summer squashes is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and relatives of both the melon and the cucumber, come in many different varieties. While each variety may have a distinct shape, colour, size and flavour, all varieties share some common characteristics. All parts of summer squash are edible, including the flesh, seeds and skin. To get the best out of summer squash, purchase the ones that are average size as overly large may be fibrous, while those that are overly small may be inferior in flavour. Summer squash is very fragile and should be handled with care as small punctures will lead to decay. This dish has an excellent combination of subtle and natural flavours and not overpowering the main ingredient.
If you do not get summer squash than there are other varieties of squash that could be used for stuffing like the zucchini (stuffed zucchini is a popular recipe), crookneck squash, pattypan etc. Most of the summer squash are soft shelled with thin edible skins and edible seeds. They consume very little cooking time as the flesh is very tender. Summer squash are low in calories, high in vitamin C and fibre. They can be cooked in several ways such as steamed, baked, sautéed and deep-fat fried.
Summer squash can also be eaten raw on its own, as an appetizer, in salads, or on sandwiches. Some summer squash, such as zucchini, can be grated and added to breads, cakes and muffins. They are also added to other vegetables, stews, casseroles, and soups. They can also have stuffing added to them and then baked. Lemon Zucchini, Zucchini Fry, Zucchini Antipasto, Zucchini Salad with Chipotles are to name a few dishes made with zucchini.
To prepare this amazing summer meal, firstly preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take about 5 to 6 round green summer squash and trim off the tops off the squash and cut them into halves lengthwise and discard seeds if any. Scoop out the remaining flesh (except for bell peppers), leaving shells about ½ to ¾ inches thick, taking care not to break shells. Chop the flesh, put it into a large bowl, and set it aside.
Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large baking dish and arrange the halves evenly in the dish. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the half cut squash.
In skillet over medium-high heat, cook 4 oz. merguez sausage or any spicy sausage and slightly brown them. Add ½ cup diced red bell pepper and sauté well. Add salt and pepper to taste; remove from heat. Add squash pulp, bread crumbs, 2-3 oz fresh soft goat cheese and seasoned salt. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Mix everything together evenly with your hands.
Fill the vegetable shells with the stuffing and sprinkle each with the ¼ cup breadcrumbs and more shredded cheese. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Bake for an hour or until the shells have softened (but not crumpled); and the crumbs on top have browned. Serve hot.
Tip: Remember while buying squash, select the ones that have a shiny, bright coloured skin, are heavy for their size, firm and free from cracks or bruises. Do not select squashes that are overly large because they tend to be fibrous and their flavour can be bitter. Too small of squash will lack flavour.
While baking the squash cut them into half, remove seeds. The skin should remain on the squash. Add a bit of butter to open cavity of each half. Place the squash cavity side up in a baking dish with 1 inch of water. Bake for 20 minutes to 1 hour, until desired tenderness.
Next time you find summer squash, and then do try this amazing recipe. Enjoy cooking!