Kasha and mushroom stuffing for squashes

Cold-season vegetables have a wonderful integrity all their own and although they are sometimes maligned as being heavy, there are ways of cooking them so they are light and interesting.

Sally Tager sent this recipe that is equally flavorsome when made with zucchini and summer squash or with small acorn and butternut squash. Squash Stuffed with Mushroom Kasha 2 cups cooked kasha, see instructions 1/4 pound firm fresh mushrooms 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 green pepper, finely chopped 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1/2 cup firmly packed chopped parsley Salt and pepper 2 yellow summer squash, each about 7 inches long and 2 zucchini,

each about 7 inches long or 2 acorn squash or 2 butternut squash Topping: 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 2 cups whole milk 2 large eggs Salt and pepper 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Prepare kasha according to package directions. Chop mushrooms. Heat butter and oil in skillet, add mushrooms, onion, green pepper, and tomato and saute, stirring often over moderately high heat until vegetables are soft, but not dry.

Fold in cooked kasha and parsley and season to taste.

While you are cooking the stuffing, cut squash in half lengthwise and hollow out centers, leaving a shell 1/2-inch thick.

Bring plenty of water to a boil in 4-quart saucepan and parboil squash in 2 batches for 1 minute each or more, depending on type of squash.

Drain and arrange in lightly oiled baking pan just large enough to hold them. Fill with stuffing.

Prepare topping by melting butter and stirring in flour. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add milk all at once and whisk until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Cook about 2 minutes.

Beat eggs in small bowl, and add a little of the white sauce to warm them. Return eggs to white sauce, stirring constantly, and remove from stove. Season to taste.

Add half the cheese, and pour topping over squash, napping each one completely. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.and bake about l5 to 20 minutes for zucchini and summer squash. Acorn and butternut will need 40 to 45 minutes.

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