Globe Squash: A Whole New World

by Fresh and Frugal

I refuse to let a spherical squash defeat me. It’s just not going to happen. After the faint failure a little while ago with that rather tasteless green globe zuke, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had done wrong. What would I use this time? So many options: feta, olives, ricotta, garlic… The strong flavoring possibilities are endless. So which would be my headliner? And which grain would I use to cushion everything else?

In the end, it just had to be the red quinoa. My mom found it on the shelf at TJ’s when we went through for that first massive food-purchasing run after moving into a new place. I swear, the new food is more exciting than the new apartment, most times. This time… well, it was close. Anyway! I’d never had quinoa before, but the first meal we made was carne asada with quinoa and broccoli, and it made such an impression! Crunchy and soft at once, nutty and decidedly a new staple for my pantry, we had just sprinkled some coarse salt over the top. It seemed like it would need something more to be a meal in and of itself, though.

Olives. All of this calls for olives. The textures, if not the colors and shapes, all call for one another:  round red tomatoes, round burgundy quinoa, round round round giant green olives. It all just fit so perfectly! But tomatoes always seem to call for some onions, but the onions would be so harsh… LEEKS! There we go. That’s the meal. Perfect after a long, hard day of moving books (yes, I’m still moving books for the renovation).

Glorious Globes

2 globe zukes/squash

1 c dry quinoa

8 grape tomatoes, chopped

1/2 thin young leek, rougly chopped

5 large green olives, sliced

2 small button mushrooms, sliced

olive oil for drizzling

salt for sprinkling

Preheat to 350.

Slice off the top of the squash and scoop the middle out, which could be saved later for fritters. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and pop into the oven to start cooking.

Get the quinoa going (generally 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes). When it seems finished, mixed in the olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, and leeks.

Pull the squash out for a minute, just to stuff it gently with the mixture of olives and quinoa, and then pop the top back onto it and put it right back into the oven. Keep it baking for another 20-30 minutes, so it’s been in the oven for a total of 50-60 minutes. Serve immediately.