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Some time ago my friend Nicole sent me a tweet asking for something to do with an acorn squash. No problem, I’ve got a go-to acorn squash recipe, something I’ve been making for years and years that is delicious and versatile. So it was a simple  matter of locating the squash, making and photographing the recipe, and writing the post. Easy, right? Well, as it turns out, I checked the grocery store, produce stands, and the farmer’s market, and there was nary an acorn squash to be found. Stockholm certainly boasts a good assortment of winter squash, but acorn isn’t one of them.

So you can imagine my delight when, just a few weeks ago, upon turning up at a party to celebrate the completion of a beautifully renovated apartment, I noticed on display in the fabulous kitchen a large pumpkin and *several* acorn squash. It turns out our fair hostess, Anna, who is Swedish but grew up in North America, was given the squash by her mother who brought the seeds back from the US and is growing them in her Swedish garden. Anna was kind enough to send me home with a squash (I think mostly so I’d stop spazzing about them), so here we go.

This recipe is a modification of the stuffed acorn squash recipe I’ve been making for ages. The original recipe is one from an old Canadian Living magazine, and has been through many evolutions in my kitchen. This version has a stuffing made from a mixture of brown rice and lentils, which form a complete protein making this a good vegetarian dish which also happens to be gluten free. The dish easily becomes vegan as well by leaving out the grated cheese. I’ve kept the flavours simple here with just tomato paste, onion, and celery, but there are a zillion (actual number) different directions you could take this in.

If you have the brown rice and lentils cooked ahead of time (maybe you’re cooking grains and beans in bulk like I suggested back here) this dish comes together in a flash.

One year ago: Brown Sugar Shortbread

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe: 

Adapted from Canadian Living

You could stuff one large acorn squash, as I have done here, or two smaller. If you end up with more stuffing than will fit in your squash, as I did, it bakes up nicely in a buttered ramekin covered loosely with foil.

Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main

.

1 large or 2 smaller acorn squash

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup cooked br0wn lentils

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or similar

4 Tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

.

Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F. Split your squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Place the squash cut side down in an oven proof baking dish and bake for 15 – 20 min, until just barely tender.

While squash is baking, in a bowl combine rice, lentils, onion, celery, cheese, tomato paste, and sunflower seeds, and give everything a good stir to combine.

When the squash is just becoming tender remove from the oven and cool slightly, just until you can handle it. Spoon the filling in and press firmly in with your hands, making a mound of stuffing over the squash. Replace in the baking dish, stuffing side up, and return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes. Squash is ready when it is fully tender and the stuffing is nice and crispy on top.

Do ahead: squash can be roasted ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to be stuffed. Cooked, stuff squash will last a few days covered in the fridge and can be reheated. It also packs nicely for lunch.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2011

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