Stuffed squash: A delicious reward for Russian gardeners
Gardening in Russia is usually a group effort, a way grandparents, parents and children make the most of the long summer days in the country. Taking care of the vegetables, harvesting them and, of course, cooking them is a traditional part of dacha life.
The fruits of your labor
A delicious meal, prepared with your family from your own produce, is a great source of pride, and also a reward for all the effort spent outdoors during the long summer months when it might have been more fun to simply take it easy. One vegetable that grows well in the Russian climate, produces alot and preserves well is squash.
Stuffed squash has long been a favorite dish for many Russian gardeners and is also popular with those who are watching their weight because it is low-calorie but very filling. To choose the right squash for stuffing, look for fruits that are 14-20 inches in length and about 4-5 inches in diameter. You can stuff smaller squashes, but keep in mind the portion sizes.
How to make it:
- 1 large squash (about 3-4 lbs)
- 1 lb of raw minced meat
- 1 cup rice (about 200 g)
- 1 large onion
- ½ tsp salt
2. When the rice is ready, add it to the meat. Peel the onion and chop it, then mix it with meat and rice. Add salt (and pepper) to taste.
3. Place the squash slices on a baking sheet.
4. Put the meat mince into the center of each slice. Each piece should be filled with a heap of the meat and rice mixture. You can also add a little mayonnaise or grated cheese on top of the meat.
5. Put the sheet into a heated oven and bake the squash slices for approximately 25 minutes.