On the table this week is a meal that we also delivered to friends as part of a neighborly dinner exchange. Fall started this week by both the calendar and the temperatures, but we're still considering this a summer dish. It's one that literally stuffs in some of the best of summer.
The inspiration comes from those overgrown zucchini and summer squash that have gotten away from us in the past few days while there was so much to harvest. It's great to have a use for them other than as baseball bats or chicken feed.
This, like much of what comes to our table, has is no exact recipe. So, instead, we invite you to follow along in a general guide to see how we made these this week:
1. Sautee a small handfull of onion and garlic in oil in a heavy pot. Add a rice or grain blend and stir with the onions and garlic. We had a mix of brown rice, wild rice, and lentils on hand, but anything would work--straight rice, quinoa, etc.. After rice has toasted a bit and been coated with oil, add water and bring up to a boil.
2. Turn the grains down to a simmer while heading out to garden to pick other vegetables to include. Allow yourself to be distracted by chicken feeding and other garden tasks; harvest the entire row of black beans to bring into the barn to dry (optional of, course, but that's how we did it).
3. Remember that there is rice on the stove, and pick up the pace a bit to find some good vegetables to include: red cabbage, carrot, onion, garlic, eggplant, green peppers. Also pick those giant, ones-that-got-away zucchini and summer squash, relishing the knowledge that you finally have a good use for them.
4. Back in the kitchen, chop up all the veggies of choice into small cubes and stir-fry lightly. Mix the veggies with the rice and any spices or sauces you like (this time we went with ginger and garlic sauce from a favorite recipe book on seasonal eating: ).
5. Cut the zucchini and summer squash in half, scoop out the seeds and inner pulp to make space for stuffing, and pack the rice and vegetable mixture inside.
6. Put the stuffed squashes on a tray and bake at 375 for around 40 minutes, or untill the outer squash is soft. Pull out and top with additional fresh garlic-ginger sauce.
7. Arrange on plates, deliver to neighbors, then sit down at a barnboard table to enjoy.