Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumn Stuffed Squash

Loosely adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates cookbook. This would be a great Thanksgiving dish!

Makes 6 squash halves (~3 servings)

1 cup mixed raw brown rice and raw wild rice OR 1 package Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice mix
1/2 T butter
3 small winter squash (acorn, delicata, etc.)
1/2 onion, chopped
4 leeks, sliced (white parts and a little bit of green) - you can also just substitute another 1/2 cup of chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup chopped, peeled carrots
1 t dried crumbled rosemary (or 2 t chopped fresh)
3/4 t salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
ground black pepper to taste
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
optional: 1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup ground, lightly toasted walnuts
optional: 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Combined 1 3/4 c water, the rice, the butter, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Cover tightly and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. While the rice cooks, rinse the squash, cut in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds (you can roast them if you want!). Rub the squash halves with olive oil and place them cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 min until tender (less time for delicata squash).
4. While the squash halves bake, saute the onions, leeks, and garlic in olive oil for 5-10 min, until the onions are translucent and slightly golden.
5. Add the carrots, rosemary, salt, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. If you're using mushrooms, add them now and saute just until the mushrooms are tender and release their juices.
6. Stir in the walnuts and remove from heat. When the rice is ready, mix it in. Taste and readjust seasoning as needed.
7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Turn the baked squash halves cut side up, sprinkly the cavity with salt and pepper, and mash the flesh lightly with a fork. Mound each half with the rice filling and top with 2 T cheese if using.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and lightly browned. Serve warm!

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