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Lamb Stuffed Summer Squash with Greek Flavors


  • Author: Anita Parris Soule | Cook on a Whim
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

Description

The perfect recipe if your garden is bursting with summer squash like mine! Tender squash filled with a savory lamb sauce and topped with the creamiest, cheesiest bechamel then baked to golden brown perfection. You will love this one!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium sized yellow squash or green zucchini, halved lengthwise and interior scooped out

For the lamb sauce:

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 medium sized eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • one teaspoon kosher salt
  • one teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh cherry tomatoes or 14 ounce can of cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes *see note
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine *see note

For the bechamel sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional toppings:

1/4 cup crumbled feta

kalamata olives

fresh herbs - oregano, parsley, mint, dill

 


Instructions

For the lamb sauce:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add olive oil, followed by chopped onion and garlic.
  3. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant and starting to soften.
  4. Add diced eggplant and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Add ground lamb, herbs, and spices. Cook for 20-30 minutes, breaking up lamb as you go. The lamb and eggplant will release their juices. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the juices evaporate and you have a thick, creamy mixture. The eggplant will essentially melt into the lamb, you will not be able to see it but it will make the mixture silky, creamy, and so delicious.
  6. Add wine and tomatoes and continue cooking for 10 minutes until wine has evaporated and tomatoes have begun to burst. You want a thick sauce, not too watery, so cook until you have achieved that.

For the bechamel:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Once melted whisk in flour, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Next, add milk a little at a time, whisking with each addition.
  4. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens to a thin, pudding-like consistency.
  5. Remove from heat, add cheeses, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  6. After about 10 minutes give the sauce a stir to incorporate cheeses and whisk in egg yolks.

Bringing it all together:

  1. Arrange your summer squash in a baking tray large enough to hold them in a single layer. Now, remove them and remember how they were arranged. (I know this sounds silly, but figuring this all out when the sauce is already in the pan is messy!)
  2. Now, cover bottom of baking dish with a thing layer of lamb sauce followed by a thin layer of bechamel.
  3. Arrange squash on top of sauce layer.
  4. Fill each squash generously with lamb sauce. If you have extra just spoon it around the squash in the pan.
  5. Next, spoon bechamel sauce generously over your filled squash.
  6. Top with remaining romano cheese and sprinkle lightly with oregano and dill.

Covering and baking:

  • Take a piece of parchment large enough to cover baking dish and oil it lightly or spray with baking spray. Place the oiled/sprayed side down on top of squash.
  • cover the parchment layer with a layer of aluminum foil and crimp sides to seal.
  • Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  • remove parchment and foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes until cheese is brown and sauce is bubbling.

Top with feta, olives, and herbs. Serve with pasta, rice, or bread and enjoy!

 

 

Notes

Use any summer squash you like here, just make sure to select them in similar sizes and choose a variety that will allow you to scoop out the middles and have enough room for filling with the sauce. I used these yellow crookneck because my garden is overflowing with them!

If you have good, fresh cherry tomatoes, use them. If not, use canned cherry tomatoes (one of my favorite canned products!) or canned, diced tomatoes.

Feel free to omit the wine. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic or red wine vinegar and a splash of water in its place or simply skip it all together.

  • Category: dinner, casserole, main course

Keywords: stuffed summer squash, stuffed zucchini, zucchini boats, greek stuffed zucchini