We all have those friends. The ones who “complain” all summer that they’re up to their ears in zucchini. Because we all know that squash grows sooo easily and abundantly.
I’m not that friend. I’m the one who bought a “baby zucchini” plant and a “crookneck squash” plant, and got cheated out of both. When I spotted the first bright yellow vegetables begin to sprout from the zucchini plant, I figured I was learning a new lesson as a first time gardener: that these babies start yellow and turn green when ready to be picked.
Nope, that was wishful thinking.
Not that having a summer squash plant is a bad thing, but I fully expected the crookneck plant to go crazy too and envisioned loads of golden-skinned squash instead of a mix of green and yellow. We’ve slowly been yielding about 1 or 2 good squash per week. But not every week.
I was wrong again. The crookneck plant has been slow growing, but we did get one good-sized squash out of it. I excitedly cut it open and it was not what I expected at all. It held barely any flesh and tons of seeds, like those of a winter squash. I suppose this had been mislabeled too.
Fortunately I have some of those friends, the ones who have more squash and zucchini than they know what to do with. And because of one of them I had a large, freshly picked zucchini to go along with my summer squash to make some stuffed vegetables. Ricotta is used in the filling, but it’s blended with mashed white beans for extra protein and hearty texture. A walnut variation on my low-fat pesto adds fresh flavor. Don’t let the simple list of ingredients fool you – white bean and ricotta stuffed squash is a great way to use up those summer vegetables from your garden, or your friend’s.
White Bean & Ricotta Stuffed Summer Squash
2 medium or large summer squash or zucchini
1/2 recipe Low Fat Walnut Pesto
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup cooked cannellini beans
1/2 oz grated pecorino romano cheese
Low Fat Walnut Pesto
1 cup basil leaves (1oz)
2 large cloves of garlic
1 oz toasted walnuts
1 cup diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
juice from 1/2 a lemon
To prepare the pesto, combine the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Spray a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut the squash in half length wise. Carefully scoop out and discard the insides, leaving a shell, with a spoon.
Gently mash the beans with a potato masher, and mix with the pesto, ricotta, and romano cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the bean mixture into the squash halves, and bake for about 20 minutes, until squash is tender and filling is lightly browned.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 13.7 g
Cholesterol: 26.6 mg
Sodium: 615.8 mg
Total Carbs: 36.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.9 g
Protein: 21.5 g
I’m sharing this with Michelle’s July 30th Edition of Wholesome Whole Foods. Make sure to visit for more deliciously wholesome recipes!