Last week we received a bunch of cute little eight-ball zucchini from our CSA. We thought of stuffing the round squashes with grains or vegetables, but then we remembered how much we love eggs baked inside pattypan squash and the following dish was born.
We hollowed out each squash, filled the shell with a bit of tomato sauce and tangy goat cheese, topped it with an egg, and popped it in the oven until the yolk was just set and still creamy. We ate it with crusty bread for brunch, but it would also be delicious as a simple summer dinner.
The recipe below is for one eight-ball zucchini, but it can be doubled, quadrupled, or increased for how ever many people you'd like to serve. Use whatever tomato sauce you like, jarred or homemade, smooth or chunky, basic or spicy. You can also vary or omit the cheese depending on what you have on hand.
Eight-Ball Zucchini With Eggs Baked Inside
1 eight-ball zucchini
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon soft goat cheese (chèvre)
1 sprig basil
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cut the stem off the squash about 1/2 an inch from the top. Using a pointed teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out the insides of the squash, leaving a 1/4-inch thick wall on the sides and bottom. Brush the inside and outside of the squash shell with olive oil and rub the inside with a little salt and pepper.
Place the squash shell on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, chop up the squash flesh and heat it in a pan with the tomato sauce, cooking until the squash is tender.
Remove the squash shell from the oven. Spoon the tomato sauce mixture into the bottom of the shell, then add the goat cheese. Crack the egg on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash stem on the baking sheet alongside the shell.
Return to the oven and bake until the eggs are set, about 15-20 minutes.
Garnish with basil and place the stem on top or to the side of the squash. Serve immediately.
(Images: Emily Ho)