Stuffed Globe Zucchini
by Fresh and Frugal
Lately I have been getting off the bus early to walk the rest of the way home in the extraordinarily cool weather, and yesterday was no exception. The dark clouds skimmed among the lighter ones, like little tykes learning to float. There’s quiet promise of rain hovering, but I hadn’t seen anything yet. Only just as I hit my block though, did the gentle scent of a quick shower set in.
Strange as it may sound, I often find myself expecting there to be someone sitting on my step as I bow out from below a tree on the block before mine and the pavement slopes away. Everyone’s front step looks the same, lined up in a tidy row: black iron railing nestled beside three stairs. It’s a bit silly really, especially because nobody knows exactly where I live, but I still can’t help the fact that my heart pricks its ears for a second when I step out from under the leaves of that tree. I love quiet but pleasant surprises.
Speaking of surprises, I have been lusting after globe zukes after having caught wind of their existence through the foodie grapevine. They’re just so spherical, and so small. They’re the perfect portion size, for those of us who just can’t get enough summer squash. The possibilities are endless, and before I knew it, I caught myself scribbling out notes for my own stuffed globe recipe: dill and lemon immediately jumped out, and a dash of shaved parmesan, quickly sautéed onion and garlic and maybe a little… something else. Imagine my surprise when, as I was trolling for a medium-sized summer squash at the market, the most perfect little globe stared back at me! Without a second thought, I smiled, popped him into my hand basket and we made for the sale-priced pluots.
My brother called last night, just as I was gearing up to cook. There’s a reason I never talk on the phone while I work, and last night I was reminded why. Without thinking, I boiled the couscous like pasta, forgot to go ahead and heat the onion and garlic (much less cut them up at all) and to preheat the oven, and in a massive brain-fart, layered the fresh dill onto the top of the beautiful little sphere. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever made, to be honest. Bland. Very bland. So, as is my usual remedy for anything that isn’t particularly fantastic, I drowned it in fresh parmesan cheese. In the words of one of my best friends, Laura, ” I like cheese more than most people. By that, I mean that I like cheese more than I like most people.” Anyway, here’s the recipe I would have made, were I not on the phone.
Stuffed Globe Zucchini
1 globe zuke
1/2 cup couscous (dry)
1/2 white onion (chopped)
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 small clove garlic (chopped)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 handful fresh dill
1/4 lemon (for squeezing)
pinch salt and/or pepper
Preheat to 350.
Begin preparing couscous, according to packaging (I prefer Israeli couscous). Lop off the top of the zuke and hollow out (grapefruit spoons work well, but I went with a plain spoon).
Chop the garlic and onion and heat them in a small pan with a little oil until the onions appear clear (6-8 min on med-hi heat). When it’s finished, mix that with the couscous.
Add the parmesan to the mixture with a little salt and pepper, and stuff the eggplant. If you still have any oil left, from doing your onions and garlic, drizzle lightly over the top of it all. Place on a foiled pan pop into the oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on how thick the inner walls of the zuke are).
When pulled out, squeeze the lemon over the couscous and sprinkle with dill. You might want to keep some handy in a small bowl on the table, to add after you’ve cut into the squash and split it open.