Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Stuffed Acorn Squash, Inspired by the Mediterranean

Last year, when I was on a trip in Dallas, I tried stuffed acorn squash for the first time in my life.  Was I wowed!  To be honest, I had never even enjoyed the sweet taste or mushy texture of squash, and could not imagine it in a savory dish.  Yet something about that couscous-stuffed squash with goat cheese called me.  After dreaming about that delicious dish for almost a year, I decided to adapt this recipe for stuffed acorn squash in order to carry out my new-found squash-loving fantasy.

In this recipe, there is a perfect combination of salty, savory, sweet, and tart ingredients that make this main dish shine.  In addition, the slightly dry and crunchy textures of the rice mixture and the smooth squash mingle miraculously to produce what I can only call a party of flavors and textures in my mouth.  Enjoy!

Mediterranean-Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large acorn squash, cut into halves with seeds removed
  • 2 Italian sausages (remove casings)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 oz. romano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Saute the sausages until golden brown, breaking apart with a spatula so the meat is broken into small pieces.  Remove from pan, strain drippings, and wipe pan clean.
  2. Saute the onion until soft.  Add the celery and saute for 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes, until soft.  Add scallions and garlic and saute for one minute.
  3. Add the brown rice, dill, cranberries, Romano cheese, salt, and pepper, and return the meat to the pan.  Mix until incorporated and remove from heat.
  4. Set the oven to broil.  Place acorn squash halves in the microwave and microwave on high for 6-7 minutes, until squash is tender (ready to eat) when pierced with a fork.
  5. Fill squash halves with the rice and sausage mixture.  Sprinkle feta cheese on top.  Broil for about 4 minutes with squash 6-8 inches away from the heat source, or until feta begins to turn slightly golden and melt.
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