Friday, November 9, 2012

recipes: stuffed acorn squash & roasted acorn squash seeds

I don't usually buy fall squash (of the butternut, spaghetti and acorn varieties) because I'm never sure how to prepare them. Then I came across this recipe, and it looked so fun that I had to try it.

If you want to do a little cooking this weekend, this is a good fall recipe. It takes a little time to prepare, so it'd be a good choice for Sunday dinner.

We had these puppies when Mike, Jen and Jamie came over for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and they were a hit.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 ounces spinach
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. As Jen demonstrates, an ice cream scoop does the trick.

Brush flesh of squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash, flesh side down, on a plate and microwave 12-16 minutes until they are tender.

Begin toasting pine nuts in a pan over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Boil water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix couscous and raisins in a bowl, then add boiling water and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with fork when water is absorbed.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook another minute. Add spinach and cook 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in couscous, toasted pine nuts, 1/2 cup cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Place squash, flesh side up, on a baking sheet. Divide the couscous mixture among the 4 squash halves and pack down lightly. 

Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Place baking sheet on middle rack and broil 4 minutes.

Serves 4.


Bonus recipe!

The seeds in acorn squash can be roasted, just like pumpkin seeds. They're slightly smaller, and I think they're slightly more tender. I actually prefer acorn squash seeds over pumpkin seeds. (Tony says pumpkin seeds have the advantage.)

Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds

  • Acorn squash seeds
  • Salt

Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to remove the seeds from your acorn squash. Wash away all of the gooey squash guts.

Place seeds on cookie sheets. Sprinkle with salt and toss with a rubber spatula to coat. Ensure seeds are in a single layer.

Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes or until seeds are dried out, stirring once.

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