So, its Labor Day weekend and you realize that the summer is coming to an end. You start to feel the evening chill in the air and you try to get your last minute natural tan, before emptying out your wallet for spray-on-tans and UV lights. Aside from the excitement of approaching sweater-weather, the next best thing about fall is of course the abundance of farmer’s markets. These are full of grandmas and delicious organic produce brought to you straight from the farm by the people who are truly dedicated to the cause of the “all-natural” and like most of us are discouraged by the plethora of steroids and pesticides in our mainstream food products.
What’s another name for pirate’s treasure? Well, in this case it’s the avocado squash (warning: do not search on Wikipedia – its not there). I discovered these little guys during my weekly trip to Wednesday’s farmers market on 47th and 2nd. Until, that magical day, I’ve never heard of heard of the avocado squash, but I was quickly convinced by the enticing sign above this freshly picked produce. The sign stated that it has the nutty flavor of an avocado, but is still by definition a squash. My co-chef (this blog’s editor-in-chief) and I took the plunge into the wonderful world of the avocado squash and sautéed them with a little butter, olive oil and organic soy sauce that very same night. The dish was simple and in a word, delicious.
Now, that you are properly introduced to my new best friend, the avocado squash, I’m going to bring to you an original recipe utilizing the scrumptious qualities of this delectable little treat.
5 avocado squash (cut the avocado squash in half and spoon out the middle)
1.5lbs to 1.75lbs fresh ground meat (beef, pork and veal)
½ cup basmati rice
14oz can organic diced tomatoes
10 cloves of garlic
2 parsley roots and parsley leaves
Fresh Thai basil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
To make the sauce, sauté on medium to high heat for ten minutes: olive oil, seven garlic cloves, 2 chopped fresh tomatoes, and celery leaves. Continue to sauté and add 14oz can of organic tomatoes and 14oz of hot water. Bring the mixture to a boil then turn the heat down to simmer. Continue to cook on simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes, while adding Thai basil leaves, finely chopped squash insides, salt, pepper and two teaspoons of brown sugar. Add water and hot red pepper flakes as needed.
To make the stuffing, mix: one finely chopped onion, three garlic cloves, two grated parsley roots, parsley leaves, finely chopped dill, one egg, one half cup of basmati rice, ground meat and salt & pepper. Add a little bit of the sauce to the mixture to bring to stuffing to the desired consistency.
Load the squash with the stuffing and allow half of the stuffing ball to be exposed above the hollowed out squash. Pour the sauce into a deep aluminum pan. Place the stuffed squash into the pan. Spoon some of the sauce over the stuffed squash. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for one hour at 400 degrees. Uncover, spoon some of the sauce over the squash again and cook for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. When finished cooking allow the squash to rest and then welcome the upcoming autumn season with this delicious meal. Enjoy!