Cousa Squash stuffed with Lamb, Eggplant and Sungold Tomatoes

I have seen a lot of recipes lately for stuffed squash…wait, let me start again.  I have seen a lot of squash lately, so naturally I have been noticing a lot of squash recipes and many of them stuffed.  At the market recently I overheard Joanna saying that this squash is particularly good stuffed because of its nutty flavor.  For this reason, and because it is a middle eastern squash variety, it just made sense to try it with some spiced lamb, feta cheese, and other items from my share.

I had a fairly large sized squash to work with, so I used one squash that was about 1 1/2 pounds, for two people.  You’ll have to judge what will work best depending how many you serve and the size of your squash. This meat mix makes enough for two smaller sized squash, thus serving four people.

Start with roasting the squash, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and make a indent in each half.

Coat each half with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Place in the oven and allow to cook until the squash is slightly browned and presents little resistance when poked with a fork.  Start around 10 minutes depending on the size of your squash and keep checking it every 10 or so until it seems to be ready.

While the squash is roasting work on your filling.  Start by mixing the spices, salt, and pepper with ground lamb.

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, then add the lamb/spice mixture and cook until the meat is cooked through.  Remove the ground lamb from the pan leaving some of the juices in the pan to use for cooking the vegetables.  If there isn’t much fat left in the pan add a little more olive oil then add the vegetables in stages, starting with the onions and peppers, then the garlic, then the eggplant.

Once the onions and peppers have become soft and the eggplant has started to cook through, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder, salt, and pepper.  Then add lemon juice and wine, honey, and butter.  Lower heat to medium and let cook until most of the liquid has reduced, taste for salt then remove from the pan and mix with the cooked ground lamb. Stir in chopped parsley and quartered sungold tomatoes.

Stuff each squash half with stuffing and top with feta cheese and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Place in the oven under broiler until the cheese has become a little brown and melty.  Serve with greek yogurt with mint and garlic.

Cousa Squash stuffed with Spiced Lamb, Eggplant, and Sungold Tomatoes

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2lb Cousa Squash (Cut in half, seeds removed and indention created in each half)
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided in 2 T and 1 T)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt (divided into thirds)
  • 1lb Ground Lamb
  • 2 teaspoons Yellow Curry Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric (divided )
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 large Onion (diced small)
  • 1 Green Pepper (diced small)
  • 1 Asian Eggplant (diced small)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Honey
  • 1 pint Sungold Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Once the squash has been halved, the seeds removed, and an indention created in each half place all squash indention side up on the parchment lined sheet pan. Use 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to coat the top side of all the halved squash, then season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Step 2
Roast squash until it is slightly browned and gives little resistance when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes, but check it after 10 minutes as your timing will depend on the size of your squash. When the squash is done remove it from the oven and set aside until later use.
Step 3
Mix all spices and 1 teaspoon of salt with the ground lamb. Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, and add meat/spice mix to the pan and cook until just done, about 5 minutes
Step 4
Remove meat from the pan, leaving some of the fat and juices behind to cook the vegetables in. Add the onions and peppers and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the eggplant and cook until just soft, about 2 minutes then stir in 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Step 5
Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add lemon juice, honey, butter and wine. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook until most of the liquid has reduced, about 8 minutes.
Step 6
Remove vegetable mix and combine in a large bowl with the cooked ground lamb. Mix in fresh tomaotes and chopped parsley, then taste to see if any additional salt is needed
Step 7
Turn oven to broil. Fiill each squash half with stuffing mix and top with crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle an additional 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin oive oil over the feta cheese, place under broiler until cheese is melty and browned 3 - 5 minutes.
Step 8
Serve immediately with mint, yogurt sauce.

Greek Yogurt with Mint and Garlic

Serves 1/2 cup
Prep time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Finely Chopped Mint
  • 1 clove Minced Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Directions

Step 1
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until well combined.

 

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