November 17th, 2014

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

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Stuffed Acorn Rings

Acorn squash is just starting to make it’s way to my table as a favorite. After years of sugary squash halves, I’ve begun to appreciate it’s nutty flavor and versatility. Sliced into half moons or rings it makes an impressive looking side dish. This savory stuffed version was made with vegetarians in mind. It will make an easy vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving, and well, I won’t tell anyone if you put gravy on it.

Stuffed Acorn Squash RIngs

Thick squash rings mounded high with a lentil/baguette stuffing look way fancier than they are. Be sure to mince the veggies extra fine, I diced them and then piled them up ran my knife through them a dozen or so times. The celeriac, carrot, onion base is a play on the traditional French mire poix.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Sauté the veggies until soft, then add the lentils and herbs. (It occurred to me halfway through cooking that you could just simmer everything in one pot, but I have an extreme fear of undercooked beans and legumes). I used cubed baguette for the stuffing component, and a beaten egg holds everything together. (Bonus: Autumn’s Harvest Farm has a ton of farm fresh eggs right now)

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

The walnuts add an earthy crunchy flavor that shouldn’t be skipped! Try pecans if you’re feeling cheeky or anywhere near Georgia.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

There are a couple of ways to cut acorn squash into rings. The method pictured above, just slice into one inch thick rings, then use a paring knife to cut out the center portion with the seeds. Alternately, you can remove the top and bottom, scoop out the inside entirely, and then slice into one inch rings. I don’t feel strongly about either method.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings serves 8 – 10

2 medium sized acorn squash
1 cup dry black, French lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
1 carrot
1 celeriac
1 onion
a few sprigs of thyme and sage
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup baugette, cut into a small dice
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon butter
olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper

Place lentils and veggie stock in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook lentils for about 20 minutes until tender.

While the lentils are cooking, peel the carrot, celeriac, and onion. Cut the vegetables into a very fine dice. Mince about a tablespoon of thyme and sage. Heat the butter over medium heat and sauté the veggies and herb until soft. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Drain the cooked lentils and add to vegetables. Let mixture cool.

While the vegetable mixture is cooling, dice the baguette and prep the squash. Remove the top and bottom of the squash and slice into one inch rings. Each squash will yield about 4 – 5 rings. Use a paring knife to remove the seeds. Lay the squash rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper then flip over and repeat.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the squash for about 15 minutes until just starting to soften. While the squash is par-baking lightly beat the egg and combine the egg, baguette, and lentil mixture. Remove the par-baked squash from the oven and gently mound the filling into the center of the rings. Use a spoon to dome the edges. Bake for an additional 15 minutes until the edges are set. Garnish with fresh thyme and shaved Parmesan.

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