What is that and why is it in your fridge?


This game won't be as fun if you're from Argentina or somewhere else where these grow, but I'd never seen them before coming to Buenos Aires. So, what are those and why did I buy them?

They're zapallitos redondos — a water balloon sized squash (small to standard-sized water balloons, not the kind you'd make with birthday balloons that would get so massive you'd drop them on yourself before tossing them at anyone else). Back to the zapallitos, they're similar to zucchini, though with more of a squash/pumpkin-like taste to me.

I've used zapallitos redondos in place of zucchini in a ratatouille, and I've sauteed slices simply with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. But to really spotlight the zapallitos, I had to leave them whole and stuff them. I'd seen stuffed zapallito recipes in Argentine cookbooks and online. But as usual, I took inspiration and ignored directions.
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I made a simple bread crumb stuffing with onions, and the zapallito insides. Thinking of my mom's Thanksgiving stuffing, I minced the innards from a whole chicken I had roasted and added those, too. For me, the squash provided enough moisture, I didn't need egg or broth or milk. It was flavored also with garlic, herbs of Provence, fresh parsley and lemon, then baked until tender. Two stuffed zapallitos made a satisfying meal for one, or one squash could be a side dish to some roast chicken.

For as long as I'm in Buenos Aires, I'll be eating zapallitos redondos, they're always available and cheaper than zucchini. I put them in pasta sauce often, and I'm looking forward to making breaded milanesas de zapallito I saw on Dan Perlman's site. What would you do if you got your hands on some zapallitos redondos?


5 Replies to “What is that and why is it in your fridge?”

  1. Wow, I’ve never even heard of these. I would try to make some cream of zapallito soup! By the way, I’m heading to Buenos Aires soon, any great restaurants you would recommend?

  2. Dry breadcrumbs are made from dry bread which has been baked or toasted to remove most remaining moisture, and may even have a sandy or even powdery texture. Bread crumbs are most easily produced by pulverizing slices of bread in a food processor, using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs. A grater or similar tool will also do.:

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