Friday, October 28, 2011

fall harvest dinner.

A few weeks ago, my aunt and uncle (who have green thumbs like no other) brought me two sweet dumpling squashes from their beautiful garden. I guess last year they didn't get any -- and this year they have dozens and dozens and don't know what to do with them! I was incredibly grateful, as my garden mostly consists of creeping charlie.

They are similar in size and shape to acorn squash, and you can cook them in a similar way, too. I got super inspired to whip up something fall-ish and L decided to take a long enough nap that I actually got to complete it. :)

sweet dumpling squash with wild rice and apple stuffing

what you'll need:
2 sweet dumpling squashes
1/2 cup wild rice (I used one 4 oz. box of Reese's)
1 shallot
1 large apple (pick one that is firm and has a good crunch to it -- if they're on the small side, you'll need 1 1/2 and you will just have to eat the rest of it while you're cooking!)
1/8th cup (large handful) sliced almonds, toasted
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey, plus more to taste
finely ground sea salt
lemon juice

Cook the wild rice according to package directions -- it will take 40-60 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350. Cut the squash in half (vertically) and scoop out the seeds. Pierce the flesh with a fork in a few places. Divide the butter between all 4 squash halves. Drizzle each with the honey, and then sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover each squash half with foil, put them on a baking pan, and pop them in the oven for 30 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, chop up the shallot and saute it in evoo until it starts to brown, then set aside. Roughly dice the apple, then squirt with a little lemon juice to keep it fresh. When the wild rice is done cooking, add the apple and shallot, almonds, sea salt and pepper to taste, and a generous drizzle of both the evoo and honey and toss to combine.

Take your baking pan out of the oven (leave it on) and remove the foil from the squash. Scoop the wild rice mixture into each half. Lightly spray the top of the filled squash halves with cooking spray, then return to the oven for 15 minutes uncovered.

This will serve 4 as a side dish or 2 as a vegetarian main course. We ate it with garlicky green beans and crusty rosemary bread. Yum!

Happy weekend -- hope you have great food and great company in your plans!

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