As promised, I’ve got another squash and apple recipe for you today. This time I trying to make a dent in my stock pile of acorn squashes. I brought home several from my trip to Gordon Skagit Farms. And then on top of that, I received a couple in my CSA box this week. So I’m buried in acorn squash! But I don’t mind much. There are much worse problems to have.
Acorn squash just begs to be stuffed. Once you cut it in half and scoop out the seeds you have the most perfect little edible bowl staring you right in the face. So naturally I was compelled to whip up a hearty and healthy stuffing. On a whim I tossed together some cooked wild rice, onions, celery, apples, kale and pecans for a colorful and flavorful stuffing that provides just the right amount of texture and contrast to the softness of the cooked squash.
This was a total “clean out the refrigerator” type of recipe. Which means it’s highly adaptable to whatever you may have on hand. Leeks or shallots would be great in place of the onion. Try pears or dried cranberries instead of the apple. And any greens (spinach or chard) or nuts (walnuts or almonds) would be delicious too. It’s all good. And you know what else is good? The fact that you can cook and stuff the acorn squash in advance, then simply re-warm it before serving.
I enjoyed these as a hearty vegetarian (and vegan!) entrée. But these little beauties make for an excellent side dish as well. Grains and vegetables all in one = winning in my book.
Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing
- 3 acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onions, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium apple, diced
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups loosely packed kale, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- Cook the acorn squash. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Place the squash halves cut side down in baking dishes (you'll need two or three baking pans, depending on the size of the squash and how good you are at puzzling them together to fit into the pan!). Add about an inch of water to the baking pan(s). Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the squash is cooking, make the wild rice stuffing. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, celery, salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions and celery are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, garlic, apple and maple syrup, sautéing until the garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Fold in the kale, pecans and cooked rice. Set aside.
- Stuff the acorn squash. Carefully flip the squash over so that the cut side is facing up (a spatula is helpful for getting under the squash) and drain the water from the baking pans. Stuff each cavity with the wild rice stuffing mixture, dividing it evenly between the squash halves. Transfer the stuffed squash back to your 350 degree oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes to finish cooking the squash and to re-warm the stuffing. Remove from the oven and serve.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
1. Cooking time for the wild rice will depend on what kind and brand you buy. Follow the instructions on the package.
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