and I am left with an Acorn Squash….large.
I had planned to use it as a receptacle for a dip during Thanksgiving Season, but it didn't happen, and the season has passed, and the squash is here. I've made sweet and rich stuffed squashes, squash soups, squash pie, squash ravioli, and am tired of it, for now; but the squash is here. It's presence is nagging me. It's a good, healthy, whole, nutritious food and I cannot let it waste away. Besides, it is tasty.
Flexibility is a good thing when planning dinner. I thought I was going to have Baked Panko Cod-, Zucchini "Pasta" with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Black Olives, Peppers, Spinach and Parmesan and some Roasted Squash, maybe with Maple Syrup and Cranberries (more ingredients left from Thanksgiving!)
I reconsidered. Sweet squash is a jarring note in this meal and the cranberries and maple will be great with oatmeal in the morning… so, I regrouped my ingredients and came up with this rather delicious, and pretty, and sort of Christmasy Stuffed Squash! The fish remained, the Zucchini "Pasta" simplified, and the Squash created!
The makings of a delicious dinner!!
First you bake the squash to soften it. While it cooks, you can make the stuffing in just a few minutes. Save it for later, or heat and bake just before eating.
It can be a complete meal in itself. I made extra for another time (I said the squash was large), and I have some roasted squash left for salads or even another soup made with the roasted red peppers too (did I say the squash was large ?). Cooking and creating is so much fun, and if you think it through, it can be very economical. A squash, a can of beans, a jar of roasted peppers, some greens and I have the makings of several meals.
SAVORY STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
Baked Acorn Squash quarters
- 1 medium/small squash (or quarters of a large)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1-2 cups greens (baby or chopped, swiss chard, spinach, arugula, kale, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons black Kalamata olives chopped
- 1 cup cooked white beans, rinse if canned
- 1/2 cup tomatoes or sauce
- fresh herbs such as sage and thyme, parsley, oregano or basil, etc. to taste
- Shredded Italian Cheeses (Fontina, Asiago, Provolone, etc.) about 1/2 cup
- Breadcrumbs about 1/3 cup
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. I am not posting a picture of this, as I think anyone reading my blog knows what squash seeds look like!
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish with a little water on the bottom. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes until softened.
While squash bakes, sauté onion and garlic in oil in a skillet. until translucent. Add red peppers, greens, olives and tomatoes. Toss in beans and herbs to meld flavors. Stir in about half of the cheese at the end.
The stuff sautéing...
and here is the stuffed squash
Top with some breadcrumbs and more cheese.
Ready for the oven..
Place in refrigerator if not using right away. Otherwise, bake for about 15 minutes until cheese melts and crumbs brown.
I used homemade croutons from sour dough bread toasted in oil and herbs.
for Vegan or Gluten-free, use toasted almonds or walnuts in place of cheese/breadcrumbs.
The transformed Dinner: Stuffed Squash, Zucchini Pasta and Baked Cod