One side dish my family loves for Thanksgiving is Stuffed Acorn Squash. Thanksgiving however, isn’t the only time we enjoy the flavors of Autumn. It is ridiculously easy to make. If only the aroma filling your home could be bottled and turned into one of those spray mists or plug-in the wall room deodorizers. I would invest money in that company.
Cut the acorn lengthwise to make a heart-shaped boat. Clean out the seeds and scrape the interior of any stringy material.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil (Georgia Olive Oil if you available). Then sprinkle cinnamon and fresh nutmeg or pumpkin spice as a good substitute.
Place in a pan and bake in a preheated 400° oven for about 40 minutes. Test for tenderness with a fork. Cook longer if necessary.
While the squash bakes, cook a blend of wild,brown and white rice. I would suggest here to follow the package directions based on the rice you purchase. Generally speaking for two people, I mix equal parts of each kind of rice for a 1/2 cup to 1-1/4 cups boiling water. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
When rice is cooked, add dried cranberries and roasted pecans, chopped, to the rice mixture. Upon completion of squash, plate, and then spoon rice into the bowl of squash.
Roasting/Toasting pecans: Spread pecans on a sheet pan and place in 350° pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. This can be done ahead of time.
Note: Nuts contain oil and can turn rancid after a short time if not refrigerated or frozen. Try to use fresh pecans. They are expensive but keeping in the fridge will lengthen the freshness.
Served with Wild Rice
I love the fall when all the seasonal vegetables and fruits are in abundance. It’s a time to pull out the long sleeves and enjoy cooler temps and a calico of colors. The first time I tried Acorn Squash was after reading a recipe from Martha Stewart. Instead of mashing and creaming and souping the squash, I decided to stuff it with Wild Rice. The following photos is my take on preparation.
I do not include a photograph of the actual cutting of the Squash. For any of you who have cut pumpkins for your children, you understand the brutality. It gets pretty ugly and the slamming down on a carving board makes my dogs run and hide. At the time I was cutting into the squash, the thought occurred to me the if there happened to be a home invasion, the knife stuck in the squash could make for a good weapon.
Clean Out the Seeds and Stringy Stuff
Sprinkle Cinnamon Over the Edges and Interior
Drizzle a Small Amount of Olive Oil on the Edges and Interior
Place in a pan. Bake in a Preheated 375° oven for about 45 minutes to an hour at the most.
I use only Uncle Ben’s Long Grain/Wild Rice, Original Recipe. Follow the instructions on the box.
Plating: As you can see in the initial photo. Place the Squash half on a plate, fill with Wild Rice and with a fork, fluff the squash in with the rice.
One can include pecan pieces in the Wild Rice just for added flavor and crunch.