November 12, 2011

Squashing Hunger...

Acorn squash is one of those little gems that most people probably just pass on by at the store and don't even give a second look.

Well, stop and give it a second glance.  Squash, whether they be acorn, butternut, spaghetti or any other variety you happen upon at the store (or ahem...  Farmer's Market) are delicious and now is when they are at their peak.  They are wonderful roasted in the oven or scooped out and stuffed with whatever you can dream up.

This humble little vegetable may not be the latest "in" thing on the restaurant scene or some new discovery that will help you live to over 100 years of age but what it is...  is delicious.
The flesh takes on an almost buttery texture when roasted and the caramelized squash is sweet and melts in your mouth it's so tender.

For those who are less than thrilled about eating vegetables or are less inclined to try new or unfamiliar things,  roasting veggies is almost always a hit.  Roasting them brings out their natural sweetness making them more palatable to picky or less-adventurous eaters.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • 2 acorn squash  (cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed)
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut off a small piece from the outside of the squash so you will have a flat surface on the bottom to prevent it from rolling over.
  3. Place acorn squash on oiled sheet pan, cut side down (inside), and roast in oven for 40 minutes.
  4. While squash is in oven, make the filling...
  5. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent.
  6. Add sausage and cook thoroughly, add cranberries, rice, chicken stock, salt & pepper.
  7. Let the filling simmer for about 10 minutes and remove from heat.
  8. Add pine nuts and marjoram. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  9. Remove squash from oven and carefully turn over.  Turn oven down to 350 degrees.  Fill each half, dot each with a little butter and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
ready for the oven...


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