Our Meatless Monday nights have been a bit boring lately – lots of soups. I thought we needed to spice it up a bit, and this stuffed squash recipe was just the ticket.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

Ingredients
2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup wild rice
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)
1 tsp coriander
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp butter
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and then season them with salt and pepper. Roast them until tender, usually about 50 minutes. When they are finished roasting, increase the oven to 450 degrees.

In the meantime, boil two cups of water. When the water reaches a boil, add the wild rice, cover and simmer until the rice is tender and all of the water is absorbed.

With the remaining olive oil, saute the onion and celery over medium-low heat until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the garlic, thyme, coriander and cook just until fragrant (less than a minute).

Remove the vegetables from the heat, and stir in the wild rice, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, the walnuts and butter. Season with salt and pepper.

By now the squash should be done. Scoop out the flesh, leaving a thin layer of squash in the shell to help support the fillings. Fold the squash into the wild rice mixture, and then scoop out the mixture into each shell (about one cup in each shell). Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and bake until the cheese is melted, about ten minutes. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve.

Tips

  • Don’t be like me and cut the squash the wrong way, so that it has to be propped up on everyone’s plates. It really takes away from the ambiance of the dish. You want to cut it so that the stem is at the top. I’m sure this is totally obvious to the rest of you.
  • This is ripe for variations – the original recipe called for barley and pine nuts, but I thought wild rice sounded tasty and I didn’t have any pine nuts. Quinoa, bulgur, farro…any of those would be delicious.
  • We had leftover “stuffing” that we just used as a side for dinner the following night. It was so tasty that I think I’ll make extra stuffing to stand on its own next time I make this.

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