- 12 medium patty-pan squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 medium zucchini, halved and inner core discarded, skin diced
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see Note) and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 6 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves only, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Mexican Manchego or aged Jack cheese
- Small sprigs of marjoram, for garnish
Clean the squash and place them in the top of a steamer set oven gently simmering water. Partially cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, scoop out the top 1/3, scooping deep into the center to make a nice cup to hold the filling. Chop the scooped-out squash into 1/4-inch dice and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a large oval or rectangular baking dish. In a large heavy skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, until the aroma of the garlic is released. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the reserved patty-pan flesh, almonds, cream, salt, and pepper ad stir for a few minutes, until the mixture is thickened and clumpy. Remove from the heat and stir in all the cheese except for 2 tablespoons, which will be reserved for garnish. Mound some of the mixture on top of each squash and place them in he baking dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the reserved cheese then bake for 5 minutes more to melt the cheese. Serve the patty pans accompanied by a small sprig of marjoram.
Note: To toast almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.