Monday, November 21, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash


For Meatless Monday, I decided on Stuffed Acorn Squash. I had an acorn squash in my CSA basket and set it aside for this recipe. I cut the squash in half, scraped out the seeds and roasted the squash halves in a 350 degree oven for almost an hour until tender.
While the squash were roasting, I prepared the filling by sauteing some diced onion and garlic, adding a little water, tomato paste, salt and pepper and chopped kale. I cooked everything covered until tender and then added some canned white beans and chopped Kalamata olives. The filling was spooned into the roasted squash halves and topped with a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

The stuffed and bread crumbed squash halves went under the broiler for a couple of minutes to warm everything through and brown the breadcrumbs and cheese.

I made some dinner rolls to go with this since I wanted to test this recipe before Thanksgiving and these rolls worked out great. One batch of dough makes 24 rolls and you can freeze them just before baking to make it easy to be able to bake fresh dinner rolls as needed. I went ahead and baked all 24 rolls so I could test out the recipe. I will freeze them tonight and then pop them back in the oven on Thanksgiving day. However, now I know that I can make the dough ahead, freeze and just bake them at the last minute for nice fresh dinner rolls. What I really like about this recipe is that it makes 24 rolls and they are good size rolls. It is the perfect family, holiday recipe for rolls.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Kale and White Beans (serves 2)
Adapted from iVillage.com (originally from Eating Well)

1 medium acorn squash
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups chopped kale
1/2 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To make it easier to cut a pumpkin, acorn, squash or other winter squash: pierce in several places with a fork; microwave on High for 45 to 60 seconds. Use a large sharp knife to cut in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon.

Cut a small slice off the bottom of each squash half so it rests flat. Brush the insides with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar-size) microwave-safe dish or baking pan. You can either cook the squash halves until tender in the microwave or roasted in a 350 degree oven. If using the microwave, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High until the squash is fork-tender, about 12 minutes.

If using the oven, place the squash halves in a casserole dish or baking pan just large enough to hold them cut side up, add 1/4 cup water and roast in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in water, tomato paste and the remaining 1/8 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Stir in kale, cover and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in white beans and olives; cook until heated through 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat broiler.

Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Fill each squash half with about 1 cup of the kale mixture. Place in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil in the center of the oven until the breadcrumbs are browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

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