Golden-fleshed autumn squash offers exactly the kind of substantial beta-carotene nourishment we crave when temperatures drop. Here, slices of squash nestle cozily in a bed of savory bread stuffing studded with mushrooms, olives, and omega-3-rich walnuts, flavored with health-promoting garlic: just about everything a body needs in fall.
Baked Autumn Squash with Savory Stuffing would also make a lovely vegetarian Thanksgiving offering.
3/4 cup red onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried savory
1 cup field mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 loaf of bread, sliced and chopped into cubes
1 cup black olives, sliced
4 tablespoons tamari or other good-quality soy sauce
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 kabocha squash (or Hubbard, acorn, or butternut)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large frying pan, saute the red onion in the olive oil on medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic, celery, savory, mushrooms, and bread cubes, sautéing for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Add the olives, tamari, and walnuts, stirring all ingredients together thoroughly for a few minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Prepare the squash by cutting it in half, removing the stem and seeds, then slicing the flesh into wedges about 1 inch wide. The skin of kabocha squash is edible and can be left on, but other squashes will need to be peeled. Place the wedges around the edge of a baking dish, then scoop the stuffing into the center of the dish, covering most of the squash.
3. Place the dish into the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check to make sure the squash is done by poking a piece with a fork; it should be soft. If the stuffing looks like it’s getting a bit dry, you can place a lid over the dish for the last 10 to 15 minutes while it’s baking. Serve hot.
Serves 6 to 8.