- The couple of lil gem squashes from my most recent CSA share had been staring at me from across the kitchen table for a few days. They looked so diminutive and adorable but at the same time a little intimidating. Between the tough skin and their perfectly round shape, I was not sure I could cut them up without losing blood or finger. However, the promise of discovering another vegetable was too tempting so I finally tackle them today.
- Roasting is my standard preparation for winter squashes. However, I really want to do something more special with these cute ones. They are the perfect size to be stuffed and already portioned for individual serving. Most stuffed squash recipes use a filling of sausages and/or grains. Not a big fan. When I saw this recipe from 101 Cookbooks, my eyes lit up. This is my adaptation of the recipe after playing around with the proportions to my liking.
2 gem squashes, halved and seeds removed
1 large egg
50g heavy cream
50g almond milk
1/4 tsp anise seeds, crushed
a pinch of grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground pepper
a pinch of fine sea salt
2 tbsp of finely chopped scallions, reserve a bit for garnishing
1 cup of corn kernels (I used frozen because it is middle of winter)
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425F. Place the squash halves on a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes until the flesh is tender.
While the squash halves are roasting, prepare custard. In a large measuring cup, mix together egg, cream, almond milk, anise seeds, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and scallions.
Remove squash halves from the oven and fill them with corn kernels until full. Reduce oven temperature to 375F.
Before you fill the squash halves with custard, you want to make sure that they are level so you can fill as much custard as possible without spilling. Here I set each squash half over a silicone muffin cup and readjust accordingly. They are more stable too! Fill the squash halves with custard until full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until custard is set and still a bit jiggly in the middle. Remove from oven and top with grated cheddar cheese.
Set oven to broil and broil the squash halves until cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Keep a very close eye on it. Depending on your oven, it takes approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Garnish with reserved scallions and serve immediately. One per person for sidedish, or two per person for a vegetarian main course. Me? I can eat all four in one sitting.