Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's for Lunch Wednesday - Squash

I love squash time. It's great to be able to buy produce that doesn't go bad in a few days or weeks, but can be stored easily until you're ready for it. And it's yummy and nutritious and makes a nice autumn decoration in your kitchen, too!

Here is a recipe for one of my most favorite squash recipes, which can be a main dish or a side (maybe for Thanksgiving?). It also travels very well and is good for potluck meals. I got the recipe from Taste for Life magazine, and they credit Joy of Cooking: All About Vegetarian Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker as the original source. Enjoy!

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

3 acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or whole unblanched almonds, toasted (I use raw walnuts)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I sometimes substitute thyme)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange acorn squash cut side down in a baking pan. Add 1/2 inch of water to the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until the squash are tender, about 45 to 55 minutes. Leave the oven on. Let squash cool.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stirring until golden, about 8 minutes. Add quinoa, stirring until roasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and let cool slightly.

Scoop out and dice the pulp of 2 squash halves. Turn the other 4 halves cut side up (I usually cut a sliver off the uncut side of each half before cooking so the squash are stable for the filling stage) and season with salt and pepper. Combine quinoa mixture and diced squash. Stir in nuts, parsley, and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Spoon mixture into the 4 squash cavities, distributing evenly. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

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