I grew it, now how do I cook it?
Every now and then I run across something I've never tried to grow before. So what makes someone like me who tends to grow traditional vegetables try something new and different? The color? The smell? The name? If you guessed “The name” you would be right! This year I grew Burpee’s exclusive new squash named Cupcake. It sounded so cute and looked so good I just had to try it. Plus, unlike many squashes out there, this one could be grown in a container, which is the only way I can grow anything in my community.
So after months of nurturing my little squashes, it was time to harvest them and bring them to the kitchen. It was there I started scratching my head: “I grew it, now how do I cook it?” Luckily for me there are many great sources online to help me out. One of the best resources for me was Burpee.com! Here, not only did I find more information on my cute squashes, they even had a recipe that I could download.
While their recipe looked delicious, I knew if I was going to get my husband to eat any squash, especially a new type we haven’t had before, I would have to increase the yum factor by a thousand. Inspired by Burpee’s recipe, I dug through my own stash of recipes and came up with a combo that would surely get my husband to try this squash.
Ultimately, I ended up blending together a box of stuffing mix, breakfast sausage and mushrooms into a mixture and stuffed them into my prepared squashes with some (okay—a lot of) cheddar cheese on top. After baking, I pulled out these little melted cheese wonders and presented them to my husband. He was very enthused to try them since they smelled and looked so good!
Upon tasting them, I was surprised by the delicate zucchini-like flavor the Cupcake Squash produced. The squash flavor, blended with the stuffing mixture, mushrooms and melted cheese, created a combination of tastes that was simply magical!
Hopefully by now, I have convinced you to grow these wonderful Cupcake squashes on your own and cook with them. Need a little help? Here is my recipe:
Stuffed Sausage & Mushroom Cupcake Squash
by Denielle Noe
- 4 Cupcake squash, about 4 inches in diameter
- Stuffing mixture
2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb. JENNIE-O breakfast turkey sausage
1-½ cups SARGENTO Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Traditional Sage Stuffing Mix
1/4 cup & 1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1-½ cups water
- Oil mixture
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix olive oil, salt, pepper & ½ of the fresh thyme; set mixture aside.
Slice off the top third of each cupcake squash and scoop out the seeds. If necessary in order for the squash to sit upright, cut off a small portion of the bottom. Brush the olive oil mixture over the top rim and inside of each squash. Set squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Place squash into 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
While squash is baking, brown sausage in skillet; drain well if necessary. In a separate saucepan, sauté slice mushrooms with 1 tbsp. butter or margarine on low heat; cook until soft. For stuffing, following package directions, bring 1-1/2 cups water and 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) butter or margarine to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in stuffing mix; cover. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 min. Fluff with fork. Add to stuffing the cooked sausage and mushrooms; stir, cover, and set aside.
Remove baked squash from the oven, using an ice cream scoop or measured spoon, scoop stuffing mixture and place into each squash; repeat until each squash is completely filled. Next, liberally sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of each squash. Place squash with cheese back into oven and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and is a light golden brown.
Remove from oven; let cool. Sprinkle remaining fresh thyme as a garnish over each squash and serve.
Inspired to create your own recipe? Be sure to share your creations with us at any of our online social media channels. Tag us @BurpeeHG.
Garden Photo Credit: Atlee Burpee 10.2015
Recipe Photo Credits: Denielle Noe