November 16, 2010
I am starting to notice a recurring ingredient in my Vegan MoFo posts: winter squash. There has been kabocha, delicata, pumpkin, and butternut squash, now it is time for some acorn squash!
Admittedly, the flavor and texture of acorn squash is my least favorite of all winter squashes. The most popular way to prepare this squash is to stuff it with sweet or savory fillings, but for me the stuffing never seems to flavor (read: cover up) the squash enough. I had all but given up on this popular winter squash, and then I found a method for twice baked acorn squash. Baked first, then the flesh is scooped out and mashed up with the stuffing, before being packed back into the skin and baked once more.
This method worked perfectly and took away all of my reasons that I normally dislike acorn squash. I pureed the squash flesh which eliminated any stringy bits that usually gross me out, and into the food processor went some additional flavoring to spice up the bland taste that normally bores me. If you are without a food processor, never fear, you can easily mash up the squash by hand.
I encourage you to try out this method with your favorite squash stuffing. For me, that was wild rice, cremini mushrooms, leeks, and peas -- a real savory squash treat!
Twice Baked Acorn Squash
(inspired by Hangry Pants)
1 large acorn squash, sliced in half top to bottom, seeds removed
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
2 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tbsp dried)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Prepare rice according to package directions. While the rice is simmering, prepare the squash. Preheat oven to 400. Place squash halves face down in casserole dish in 1/2" of water. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the flesh is very tender. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. (May do both a day ahead). Lower heat to 350.
Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Add leeks, garlic, and thyme and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are lightly browned. Stir in peas when the mushrooms are nearly done, just long enough to thaw them. Stir in rice and remove from heat.
Scoop out squash flesh leaving about 1/4" in the skin to hold the structure, reserve skins. Puree flesh in food processor or mash by hand, along with non-dairy milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, mustard, onion powder, paprika, and salt, until smooth.
Pour squash mixture into the pan with the rice mixture, and add parsley. Stir to coat. Stuff the squash skins with mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until hot. Serve and enjoy!