I was so excited when I discovered the Verde Farm stand at my local market. The owner, Josh Halder, sells fresh local produce grown just a few miles from my house. Verde Farms is also the produce supplier of my favorite restaurant in Denver, the Fruition with Chef Alex Seidel. More info here.
They had round zucchini and squash for sale and I right away envisioned a ground beef and orzo stuffed squash dinner. Garlic, onion and tomatoes finished the filling and turned my roasted round squash into a very delightful and visual pleasing dinner.
Use regular zucchini and squash if you can’t find the round ones. The taste is the same, I just love the pretty presentation using the round variety.
* 3 medium sized round zucchini and squash
* 1/4 cup (125 ml) jalapeno pepper grape seed oil or plain olive oil
* 1 cup (175 g) orzo, uncooked
* 2 garlic gloves, minced
* 1/2 red onion, chopped
* 1 pound (450 g) organic ground beef
* 1/2 cup (125 ml)chicken broth
* 2 tomatoes, cut in smaller chunks
* 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
* salt and pepper
Preheat your grill to medium high or the oven to 375°.
Cook orzo to package directions.
Cut a thin slice off the tops of the round zucchini and yellow squash and set them aside. Using a small spoon, scrape out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick wall. Brush the inside of the squash with the oil and sprinkle with some salt. Set aside.
Add some oil in a pan over medium heat and saute onions and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned nicely. Take the pan off the heat and mix in cooked orzo, tomatoes, basil and chicken broth. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid to add a little bit more broth if the mixture looks to dry to you.
Stuff the zucchini and squash with the orzo mixture, put on the tops and place in a metal baking dish. You may have some leftover filling that you could serve on the side. Bake in the oven or on the closed grill for about 30 minutes.