Arabic style stuffed patty pan squash
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup pine nuts (chinese or italian/lebanese - they're much more expensive but worth it, use smaller quantity if desired)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 onion, chopped finely or grated (I use microplane)
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 tsp dry mint or fresh mint, chopped
zest of half a lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
Begin by browning the pinenuts in a pan (dry or in some olive oil) until nice and toasted, keep an eye on them. Once toasted remove from the pan and set aside.
Now add the ground lamb, garlic, onion and fry in more olive oil with salt and pepper until cooked. Add thyme.
Remove from heat and add your lemon zest, parsley and lemon juice, stir it in.
Patty Pan time!
You could fill about 16 and still have some stuffing left, perhaps.
These are cute little squashes, I'm told similar flavour to yellow zucchini that I just happened upon at the farmers market. If they're nice, big and meaty you can hollow 'em out and stuff them like I'm doing here today.
Begin by cutting a thin sliver off the bottom just to allow it to stand properly without wobbling.
Next remove the cap by cutting it with a paring knife. Set aside.
Use a melon baller to scoop out a bit of the inside of the cup/bowl part as you see in the photo. Be gentle as not to puncture a hole, one or two scoops of flesh out and you're good to go (save the flesh for future use!)
Place your patty pans on a baking dish and remove caps, them proceed to fill them with the stuffing using a small spoon. You can fill them up to the top, no worries.
Set them in the fridge like this or bake them directly, you have the option of adding a 1/2 tsp of tomato sauce per squash by removing the lid and dropping a dollop on each meat filling or you can bake them plain.
Bake on 400 F preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce, yogurt sauce, tahini sauce or just plain, they're super cute and fun!