Stuffed Acorn Squash
The farmers' markets here in Maine are full of squash and pumpkin just now so it seemed right to be thinking about stuffed acorn sqaush this week. I used farro because I had a small amount left in a bag but leftover rice works just as well.
Look for acorn squash on the small side when you're thinking of making this - the average-sized supermarket variety acorn squash I find to be too big for a single serving in this presentation, and the whole thing falls apart if you have to cut it into smaller portions.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1/4 cup farro (uncooked) or brown rice (or 3/4 cup leftover cooked farro or rice)
- Pinch salt
- 2 small (3" diameter) acorn squash (about 9 ounces each)
- 2 ounces bacon, chopped (one slice)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (one small onion)
- 1/4 cup chopped carrot (1/2 medium carrot)
- 1/4 cup chopped celery (1/2 celery rib)
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper (1/2 medium pepper)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup unsalted vegetable stock (or water)
- 1/4 cup chopped tomato (1/2 medium tomato)
- 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (suggested: rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 400º.
2. (Omit this step if using leftover cooked rice.) Place 2 quarts of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the salt and the farro or rice. Boil until the grain is tender (about 20 minutes). Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, cut a thin section from the top and bottom of each squash so they will stand straight in the pan. Cut the squash in half. Scrape out and discard seeds and pulp. Set squash aside.
4. Sauté the bacon in a heavy skillet until just crisp. Remove to a side plate.
5. Add the onions to the pan and sauté on medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and red pepper to the pan and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally. When the onion starts to brown at the edges, add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds. Remove to a side plate.
7. Add the wine, stock (or water) and tomato to the pan. On high heat, reduce the liquid until it's thick and syrupy.
8. Return the bacon and vegetables to the pan. Add the herbs and the farro or rice and stir to combine for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
9. Fill the squash with the grain/vegetable mixture. Scatter on the cheese.
10. Place the squash halves in a greased oven-proof pan and bake – uncovered – in the preheated 400º oven for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when tested with a fork. If desired, set the squash under a broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.
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