Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Come On Baby Lita My Fire*

Nutritionists are always telling us to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. I'm also growing tired of always buying the same stuff at the farmer's markets week after week. I made this week's trip with the intention of trying to find something new.

I found these. They're called lita squash. They're weird and green. They look like eggplants that spent some time in a science experiment and have become dangerous mutants. I stared at them for a while. When they didn't shoot death rays out at me, I decided to buy them.

I did an internet search for them. I found there isn't much out there on the internet about them. I did find this page. What was really funny was that the author of this blurb said her squashes came from Migliorelli Farm. Well, Migliorelli Farm is exactly where my squash came from. Migliorelli has a very large tent at the Sunday morning market.

There was a sign on the barrel they came from saying they were good for stuffing or grilling. I decided to try stuffing them. I've never made stuffed squash before. I decided the time had come to do just that. I decided to do something with a little Middle Eastern flair, but with turkey instead of the more traditional lamb. I'm not terribly fond of raisins (I'll pick them out of my desserts and my trail mix), but I sometimes like them in savory, spicy dishes, so I put them in here along with some pine nuts.

I was less than thrilled with the squashes themselves. Maybe it's because I'm not much of a squash person, but I just found these a bit blandly squashy. Hubby liked them quite a bit, although I think his affection was more for the stuffing than the sqush itself. I also think I'd add a little more spice to this the next time.

Some lemon or orange zest would also be good in this. Too bad I forgot to buy the required fruit to make the zest. I think a diced pepper would be nice in this as well.

Stuffed Lita Squash

4 Lita Squashes
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, finely diced 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbl chopped fresh mint
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Olive oil for sauteeing onions

Put whole squashes in a saucepan of simmering water and simmer until tender. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the insides, forming a "boat". Brush with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook onion in a pan with the olive oil. Add the cumin,coriander and salt and coat well. Add the garlic. Cook until onions are soft.

Mix onions with turkey meat, pine nuts, mint and raisins.

Pour meat mixture into squash shells. Place on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

*These days when I describe my blog I say it's a blog of pointless anecdotes and bad puns peppered with all sorts of geek references**. I throw a recipe in so I can still call it a food blog.

**I realize now that this post has at only of those things. I need a geek reference for the trifecta now. Um...Star Trek, Star Trek, Star Trek, Monty Python, Discworld, Star Wars and Lost! I think I'll leave my other trademark - my tendency to leave novella-length comments on other people's blogs for another day.


Donna-FFW said...

Never heard of lita squash. The filling sounds delicious. Now Ill be singing that damned song in my head all day long:)

Sue said...

I also never heard of them, but they look familiar. Couldn't you just do anything you would do with zucchini? Oh, that's what your link said. I bet a Lita Parmesan would be good, in the style of an eggplant parm.

You're right, Discword is definitely a geek reference. Thank goodness for Wikipedia.

noble pig said...

Those are cute and stuffed with some deliciousness! I think you struck gold at the market!

Steph said...

My grandma makes something like this except she uses another vegetable that I have no idea what it's called. I love trying new veggies! I hope you like the next fruit or vegetable you try.

Melissa said...

I love novella-length comments. :)

I don't really love squash though. Stuffed or otherwise. I tend to find most of them rather bland. But a big thumbs up to you for trying something new and using a new method at the same time. Very creative.

Emily said...

Well, the squash sure does look good. Good job on taking the risk with them. I've never heard or seen this particular squash before.

Also, I'm the same way with raisins. If I eat raisin bran, I don't eat the raisins.

Adam said...

I like how you tackled them like you would any other squash. I think I've heard of stuffed zucchini before...

How in the world can your husband like something and you don't? I'm totally blown away at that... I mean he is a Sir of Picky Kingdom :)

Have a fantastic holiday, hope you're BBQ'in it up!

Chrystal & said...

Love that stuff technique. Ever had chayote squash? They are similar in color and perhaps in taste. Chayote have no taste actually, so they need a lot of help in the flavor department, but they're good for stuffing.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Donna - Oops. Sorry about that.

Sue - Geeky, but so worth the read!

Cathy - I like that phrase "stuffed with deliciousness".

Steph - I'll have to see what the market brings next week.

Melissa - I don't usually like to work too hard to make a vegetable taste good. Squashes tend to be one of the vegetables.

Em - Ha ha! I pick them out of my cereal too.

Adam - Yeah. They do stuffed zucchini. I kind of based this recipe on a recipes I've seen for stuffed zucchini and stuffed eggplant.

Chrystal - THanks for stopping by. Never tried chayote, but I have heard of them. Maybe if I see one, I'll see what I can do with it.

Peter M said...

In Greece, these are the usual-coloured them and especially when stuffed!

Lita Watson said...

Looks so tasty! Do you think this lita squash can be cook in microwave? I think that way can keep the texture and flavor of the squash in highest quality!