Friday, July 16, 2010

Stuffed Squash with Bulgur and Feta or Blue Cheese

Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine and Husband-Tested in Alice's Kitchen
Serves 4

Be prepared! The squash invasion has definitely begun here in Orange County! Here is one of several husband-tested recipes which will use up all that squash in yummy ways! Stuffed Squash with Bulgur and Feta or Blue Cheese has flavors and textures that I especially like; lemony, salty, crunchy and chewy. It makes a great vegetarian lunch or side dish or even a dish to serve at a dinner party. This vegetarian dish can be prepared up to a day ahead; fill the squash halves with the cooked bulgur mixture, then refrigerate, covered, until ready to bake. Lost River Market & Deli has bright yellow summer squash grown locally. You'll find bulgur and almonds in the bulk section of the store and feta cheese in the dairy aisle. Although I haven't tried this with zucchini, I think it would work just as well. I'm thinking a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash would make a nice colorful presentation if preparing this for a party. (Information about feta cheese and bulgur is found at the bottom of this recipe.)

4 to 5 large summer squash (about 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
4 to 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, lemon wedges, for serving (I recently tried this again using blue cheese. Wow! I think I like it even better with blue cheese!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve each squash lengthwise; slice off a sliver of skin from each half so they sit flat. Scoop out flesh with a small spoon, leaving a 1/4-inch border; chop finely, and reserve. Place squash halves on a rimmed baking sheet, skin sides down; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add reserved chopped squash, onion, almonds, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is dry, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add bulgur and 2 cups water; simmer over medium heat until liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes (bulgur should still be slightly crunchy). Remove from heat; stir in feta.
Mound bulgur mixture in reserved squash halves. Bake until squash is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

feta cheese [FEHT-uh] This classic Greek cheese is traditionally made of sheep's or goat's milk, though today large commercial producers often make it with cow's milk. White, crumbly and rindless, feta is usually pressed into square cakes. It has a rich, tangy flavor, contains from 45 to 60 percent milk fat and can range in texture from soft to semidry. Feta makes a zesty addition to salads and many cooked dishes

bulgur wheat [BUHL-guhr] A nutritious staple in the Middle East, bulgur wheat consists of wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried and crushed. It is often confused with but is not exactly the same as cracked wheat. Bulgur has a tender, chewy texture and comes in coarse, medium and fine grinds. It makes an excellent wheat pilaf, and is delicious in salads, such as tabbouli and in meat or vegetable dishes.

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