Round summer squash is stuffed with rice, ricotta cheese and vegetables, and topped with breadcrumbs and walnuts in this oven-baked vegetarian version of an Argentinian classic, Zapallitos Rellenos.
SERVING SIZE: 2 stuffed squash halves (315 grams)
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOKING TIME: 20 minutes
- 4 small to medium round zucchini squash
- 2 tablespoons (24 milliliters) olive oil, divided
- ½ onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cut each squash in half horizontally. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place squash halves in boiling water and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to ice water to cool, then remove and pat dry. Using a spoon, scoop out and reserve seeds and pulp from each squash leaving a cavity roughly ¼-inch thick for stuffing.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly coat a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- To make the filling, warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, reserved seeds and pulp and basil. Increase heat to high, stirring often until some liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add rice and ricotta and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange squash on the prepared baking sheet. Using a spoon, place equal amounts of filling in each squash half. In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs and walnuts, then sprinkle over squash. Bake until golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Cooking note: If round zucchini squash is not available, use long zucchini squash. Cut into 1½- to 2-inch-thick rounds. Hollow out the center of each round, leaving about ⅛ inch in the bottom, to make a cup for filling.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: 370 calories, 15g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 16mg cholesterol, 418mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 14g protein, 865mg potassium, 302mg phosphorus