It’s Monday… Mondays can be rough. Mondays seem especially rough when you’ve had a great weekend. But Mondays can be made a little bit better with a delicious Meatless Monday meal! Today I wanted to share a stuffed squash recipe that I came up with as a way to use up the neverending supply of acorn squash coming out of our garden.
We have some superstar acorn squash plants this year that are already producing more squash than we can eat. But I’m not complaining! I’m a lover of all kinds of squash and this is not the first or the last squash recipe you’ll see around here.
For me squash is more of a fall/winter veggie but I tried to make this recipe a little more summery with some fresh cherries from the farmers market. To pit the cherries, I tried the straw method (basically just using a straw to push out the pit) which I would say works ok (but not great). If anyone has a tried and true pitting method, let me know.
If you’re not in the mood for fresh cherries, I think dried cherries would work just fine or dried cranberries would work too. As always, I say use what you have on hand or what you prefer. Along with the cherries, we have walnuts, fresh rosemary, caramelized onions, and quinoa…it’s sweet, savory, crunchy, and healthy to boot. What more could you ask for?
The one thing I don’t love about squash is trying to cut the darn things. I found that a few minutes in the microwave makes a world of difference and makes cutting squash a breeze. Just don’t forget to poke holes in the squash first. A little precooking also shortens the amount of time the squash has to cook in the oven. Once the squash is cut, pop it in the oven and get to work on the filling. Get the quinoa cooking, the cherries roasting, and then sauté the onions. They will be nice and caramelized by the time the quinoa is done and you can combine everything just in time for the squash to come out of the oven. It’s not a super quick meal but it’s definitely doable on a weeknight.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Roasted Cherries
1 medium sized acorn squash
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the acorn squash several times with a fork and then microwave for 5 minutes. Let cool until able to handle, then cut in half and remove seeds. Drizzle open sides of squash with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place face down in a small roasting pan. Cook face down for 30 minutes, then flip right side up and cook for about 10 more minutes.
While squash is cooking, start quiona and cook according to package directions. (Typically 1 cup quiona to 2 cups water, bring to boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. For best preparation remove quinoa from heat 2 minutes before fully cooked and allow to finish cooking in separate container.)
Pit cherries and roughly chop. Place in small roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven. Check after about 8-10 minutes, remove when soft and juices have started to release.
Heat sauté pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add onions. Slowly cook onions until they are caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add fresh rosemary and chopped walnuts, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add quinoa, roasted cherries, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep heat on low and cook filling for about 5 more minutes. Once squash is fork tender remove from oven. Scoop filling into squash halves and serve.
Be Happy, Be Healthy!