Perhaps they were just too cute to be eaten. Or perhaps we had very high expectations. Perhaps we were all just too tired from a very exhausting week and needed some comfort food instead. Prep time was just too long for the mood we were in and by the time the squash was ready, any interest in how cute they were had all but dissipated. Perhaps I should have made them on another day when everyone was in higher spirits.
I stuffed the sunburst squash and took pictures rather half-heartedly.
For those who asked me what the inside looked like, here's a picture:
The sunburst squash that I bought were small in size - between 2 to 3 inches in diameter. I wanted to preserve the scalloped edge so I sliced the top off one and then realized that I didn't have much space left for the stuffing. So for the rest of them, I just sliced off a little cap from inside the scalloped edge. They had been blanched before they were decapitated. I scooped out the inside, chopped it fine and mixed it with the stuffing. I sliced off the base so that the squash would hold its own weight.
I then stuffed them with a filling made of lightly sautéed onions, finely sliced celery, finely chopped mushrooms, a finely minced clove of garlic, and finely chopped cooked shrimp with a dash of lemon and some chilli powder for some zest. I topped this off with Kraft's 4 cheese.
And then put the caps back on after lightly buttering them.
I covered the dish with foil and bunged it in the oven for at least half an hour. It may even have been 40 minutes.
Unfortunately I served it with pasta smothered in Arrabiatta sauce, also known as the "angry sauce" and that overshadowed the subtle flavors in my stuffed squash. The Arrabiatta sauce stole the show. Like the squash, I found it at Wild Oats. If you haven't tried it yet then go out and get it! It's different. It's such a delightful change from the usual zugu. It's happening again: the Arrabiatta is getting the accolades instead of the sunburst squash!
There were just too many things that went wrong that evening. The mood, the pairing, the expectations...
Thank you so much for your suggestions and ideas: Prita, Anupama, KrishnaArjuna, Mythili, Archana, Diane and Shilpa. I will definitely make this again. Next summer will be a great time to do so. We will have forgotten what went so wrong with this meal.