Quinoa Stuffed Pattypan Squash

I know - these are definitely NOT pattypan squash!
Confession.  Sometimes I like food just because it's pretty.  In Guatemala last year, I delighted over pitayas, these gorgeous pieces of fruit that were like fluorescent pink kiwis on the inside.  That it tasted good was just a bonus.

In that vein, I have always wanted to make pattypan squash.  They're just so ridiculously cute - little flower-shaped squashes.  So when I saw them at the farmers market, I made a bee-line for them and happily carried home the dainty little guys in my market bag.  Sautéeing them was out of the question.  I wanted a recipe that was going to display their adorableness.

What I ended up with were beautiful little stuffed squashes that taste absolutely delicious.  Pretty and yummy?  It doesn't get better than that, my friends.

Quinoa Stuffed Pattypan Squash
Adapted from Stuffed Sunburst Squash

10 small pattypan squash
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon earth balance (or margarine or butter)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, diced
6 sundried tomatoes, diced
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste

1.  Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3.  Place squash in a large pot of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes.
4.  Drain the water and allow the squash to cool enough to handle them.
5.  Cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each squash so that it can stand on its own.
6.  Cut about a half inch off the top of each squash and scoop out the insides.  Be careful not to puncture the bottom.  I found that a grapefruit spoon worked really well for this part.  Place the squash in a single layer in an oven-safe dish.
7.  Put the squash insides in a bowl and set aside.  (I like to cut up the larger, thicker pieces and sauté them with the stuffing.)
8.  Melt the butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add the onions and garlic.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté until the onions are clear.  Add the sundried tomatoes and cut-up squash. Sauté for about 1 minute.
9.   Pour the sautéed mixture into the bowl with the squash insides.  Add the cooked quinoa and beaten egg and mix thoroughly.
10.  Stuff the mixture into the squashes.  I always have a bit leftover, and I put it in an oven-safe dish next to the squash.  It always gets eaten right up.
11.  Pour about 1/2 inch of hot water into the pan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!  It's even better as leftovers when all the flavors have mingled more.  Just cut each squash in half and put them in the toaster oven - easy peasy.