The great thing about Squash Boats is that they are an excellent introductory vegetable dish that will win any child’s heart — especially when he or she helps prepare them. (Even a 3-year-old can place the filling into the squash cavity and sprinkle fresh herbs over the top of it.) I sometimes add bacon, sausage, or hamburger meat to the filling to create a healthy summertime main dish, but Squash Boats are fantastic eaten as a side as well. And while I call for yellow squash in the ingredients, you can use any kind of squash (including zucchini) to create these masterpieces. If you use summer squash, there’s no need to peel them; if you use winter squash, simply peel the skin before you load the filling into the boats.

Yield :  8 boats

Ingredients

  • 4 yellow squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs, divided
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon basil, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Half squash lengthwise, then scoop out seeds and soft flesh with a spoon and discard. Place squash into a baking dish, cut sides up.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add oregano, ¼ cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup cheese, salt, pepper, and eggs into the skillet and mix well.
  • Mound some stuffing into the cavity of each squash, then top mounds with remaining bread crumbs and dot each with butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until mounds are golden brown and squash can be punctured easily with a fork.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle remaining cheese and basil on top. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and garnish with basil.

Stacy Harris is pioneering the farm-to-fork eating movement that includes harvesting wild animals in addition to domesticated animals and homegrown fruits and vegetables. She’s the author of several books about sustainable living for healthy families. For more recipes like this, check out her website at GameandGarden.com and her Facebook page.

Stacy Harris at home