Each year I like to try a different kind of squash in the food garden. And I am extremely pleased that ronde de nice squash made its way onto my list this year! It has the consistency of a summer squash like zucchini, yet it is hearty, with a soft center and tender seeds that can be eaten, similar to a winter squash. And it’s spherical shape lends itself to awesome stuffing potential! So it’s extremely versatile. This healthy vegan recipe for stuffed ronde de nice squash is a great summertime meal, as a warm-ish dinner entree or cold salad, or even at brunch.
stuffed ronde de nice squash with tuscan kale & cannellini bean salad
1 smaller ronde de nice squash (about 5″ in diameter)
1 cup cooked & rinsed cannellini beans
1 1/2 cups fresh tomato, diced
1 cup young Tuscan Kale leaves, finely julienned
1 avocado, diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp. hulled hemp hearts (optional)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or truffle oil (option)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a griddle, gas grill, or grill pan to high. Using a serrated or large chef’s knife, slice the top stem and bottom stem from the squash, while keeping the squash intact, just to create a level base for each half of the squash when opened, like the base of a bowl. Then, slice the squash in half width-wise. Don’t worry about carving out the center yet. Place each squash half, open side down, on the hot griddle, grill or pan, and sear until brown. Then place the two squash halves, seared side up in an oven proof dish and roast at 375°F for 40 minutes or until completely tender all the way through.
Wait until the squash is done roasting before you make your salad. The salad is best when it is really fresh. The avocados and other ingredients will start to break down and get mushy if you let it sit too long. To make the salad, mix the beans, tomato, kale, garlic, avocado, lemon juice, thyme, salt & pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Gently stir until blended, being careful not to smash the avocado too much. This salad can be free from added oil by allowing the avocado to emulsify a little into the salad. This is a great way to get healthy fats from a whole food without adding oil. Taste for seasoning adjustments. The hulled hemp hearts can be added for their extra complete protein, fatty acids and rich texture. This will add some calorie density to the salad but make it more of a substantial meal.
When the squash is ready, gently scoop some of the seeds out of the center of each half, creating a little bit of space for your salad. Be careful not to scoop out too much of the delicious squash flesh that remains in the center. You can leave some of the seeds, as they are tender with a nice flavor and they add some texture to the dish. At this point you can add the salad to the warm squash, or after the squash has cooled down. Add a drizzle of oil (optional) or enjoy this dish completely free of added oils. You can also make the squash ahead and refrigerate. This dish is delicious warm or cold.
Check out more great squash recipes here!
Most of the edible plant seedlings for my food garden, including this glorious ronde de nice squash, come from the awesome people at Fig Earth Supply in Los Angeles, Ca., who put a lot of care into making sure we grow the most wholesome, nutritious food possible.