A Hearty Vegetarian Food Blog

Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have this poster in my kitchen with the heading “District Harvest: What’s in Season in Washington, DC,” and my house guests often study it when they’re not admiring my collection of half-dead succulents. It’s a beautiful infographic with concentric circles depicting what produce you can get fresh from DMV* farms when. The winter months on the infographic are pretty bare, but there’s this beautiful orange band spanning from November through March for winter squash. So when I feel like winter is the season of kale and sadness**, it’s nice to look at that poster and remember that my brilliantly colored, cozy little squash friends will not abandon me.

If you have been following along on the blog, you’ll know I’ve been on a squash bender recently what with my brown butter butternut squash pasta and butternut squash red curry, but I couldn’t help experimenting with some more squash recipes. Couldn’t help it. I really hope you all like squash.

I discovered with the help of Instagram that acorn squash is the perfect vessel for carbohydrates and is also very easy on the eyes. It’s basically the Millennial version of a bread bowl. Also, no peeling is required since you’ll roast it by the half-squash, and the flesh is really tender. This squash is really perfect to impress a date with, or a roommate whose stuff your cat just vomited on, or really, anyone.

The prep is pretty straightforward. The acorn squash is roasted until it caramelizes and then filled with a mix of quinoa and couscous, feta, sauteed scallions, raisins, and pecans. It’s a surprising and delicious combination of fluffy, chewy, crunchy, sweet, and salty, and… I’m out of adjectives, but you get the picture. I based my roasting technique for the squash on the kitchn’s method, and it worked like a charm.  

*That’s District, Maryland, and Virginia, not the place where productivity goes to die.

**Yes, I associate the two with one another. We have a challenging relationship but we’re working on it.

Print Recipe
Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare your squash for roasting. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the squash in half from stem to tip. Avoid cutting directly through the stem, since it’s very tough; instead cut immediately adjacent to it. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to rub about ½ teaspoon of oil onto the cut sides of each half of the squash. Sprinkle about 1/8 tsp salt onto each half and add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Place the halves face-up on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the edges caramelize, and a fork easily pierces the flesh.
  3. While the squash is roasting, prepare your stuffing. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, ¼ tsp salt, and water on medium-high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to bring quinoa to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 12 minutes, or two minutes less than the time recommended on package instructions. Once finished, there should still be some un-absorbed liquid in the saucepan, which the couscous will absorb.
  4. Turn off the flame and add couscous to the saucepan with the quinoa, stir, and re-cover. Steam for 5 to 7 minutes, and then fluff the mixture.
  5. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat and add chopped scallion whites and greens. Saute scallions for a few minutes, stirring regularly until they are fragrant and begin to brown. Fold the sauteed scallions and remaining butter into the saucepan with the couscous and quinoa mixture.
  6. Incorporate the raisins, feta, and pecans into the saucepan and stir together. Spoon the quinoa stuffing mixture into the roasted squash halves. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired, and serve with reserved scallion greens.
Recipe Notes

*This method of cooking quinoa and couscous together is a bit crazy. I'm not a quinoa fanatic, but I like to reap the benefits, so I cut it with couscous. It worked pretty well but it’s certainly a shortcut, and the couscous is a bit less fluffy than is typical. If you are interested in using just quinoa or just couscous, by all means do that, and simply follow the package instructions for prep.



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