This beautiful dish lends itself to infinite variations, all of
You can make this a very quick recipe by
microwaving your squash halves (10 minutes on high power, or until
tender) and filling them with just about anything you have on hand,
such a those great packaged wild rice or pilaf mixes with a few
chopped nuts added, or some sautéed greens.
Try substituting 2 cups of chopped kale for the cubed squash, and corn bread for the stale French bread.
Acorn squash bowls, besides adding earthy flavor and creamy texture,
will make the meal look delightfully autumnal and festive.
3 good-sized acorn squash
4 to 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, strings removed, and diced
1 cup cubed squash (pumpkin, acorn, butternut, hubbard, or kabocha)
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
3 to 4 cups stale French or country bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage (or 1 to 2 tablespoons crumbled dried leaf sage)
1/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 cups (or more) vegetable broth, salted
1 cup (or more) hot apple cider or sweet white wine (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Wash the whole acorn squash and cut them into halves lengthwise. (This will make six bowls.) Remove the seeds and stringy stuff and set aside the cleaned acorn halves.
In a heavy skillet, heat the butter or margarine. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, cubed squash, and mushrooms. Saute this mixture over medium-high heat until vegetables are tender.
In a large bowl, mix the bread pieces, eggs (these give great texture to the final product), parsley, sage, and chopped nuts, if desired.
Add the bread mixture to the sauteed vegetables and stir to mix thoroughly, then add the vegetable broth (salted to taste). Continue to mix, squishing with your hands if you like, and adding broth as necessary, until the stuffing is very moist and soft.
Mound the stuffing into the squash halves, place the stuffed squash bowls on a large baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake until the squash is tender and the stuffing is done, about 1 hour. Or you could place stuffed squash in a baking dish into which you have poured a cup or more of hot apple cider or sweet white wine, leave halves uncoverd, and baste every 15 minutes with pan juices unitl done.