Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Quinoa

I had some delicata squash to cook up from my organic box, but since I rarely cook with them I was feeling stumped. My friend Bonnie came up with a quinoa stuffing idea which, as we bounced ideas off each other, became more fantastic. This came out *amazing*.

One thing that is great about delicata squash is that the skins are thin enough that you can eat them skin and all. I sliced these into thirds and brought them to a pot luck birthday party. The entire platter was demolished and everyone loved them.

Delicata Squash w/ Quinoa Stuffing

This filled two average sized delicatas, and one teeny tiny one.

2-3 delicata squashes
1 cup quinoa
1/2 onion or 1/3 c. caramelized onions
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
1/3 cup of dried cranberries (I used craisins)
1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice or whatever)
1/2 cup pecans
2-4 TB cider vinegar
1 tsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic vinegar)
1/3-1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 400.

Cut squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Put in a foil roasting pan or cookie sheet and bake until just tender, about 30-45 mins. Leave the squash in the pan, and set aside when done.

Cook the quinoa. Bring 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to the boil in a sauce pan, add 1 cup of quinoa, cover and simmer for 15 mins until done. Leave covered for 5 minutes.

Chop pecans roughly, and put in the oven to toast (about 10 mins). They'll burn if you're not careful. If you smell the nuts, pull them out immediately.

I happened to have caramelized onions in my fridge, and I reheated about 1/3 c in a frying pan. If you are not so fortunate chop a small onion or 1/2 a regular one, and sautee in oil until translucent. Lower the heat. Add 2-4 cloves of garlic run through a garlic press, cumin and five-spice. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add salt.

Chop up the dried cranberries roughly. Put in a bowl with the cider, and microwave for 30 seconds. This will plump them up. Add the cranberries and liquid to the frying pan, stir gently.

Add about 1 tsp of pomegranate molasses to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.

Mix in the cooked quinoa, and toasted nuts. Taste the stuffing. Sprinkle on more cider vinegar and pomegranate molasses if needed. It should have some tang, but not taste like you dumped a vinaigrette on it.

Stir in the crumbled goat cheese. Taste again. Is it delicious? Adjust seasoning to make it so.

Spoon the filling into the squash halves. Reduce oven to 350 and bake about 20 minutes or until the stuffing is hot and the squash are completely tender.


Tamara said...

This sounds awesome!

My secret for not burning nuts when I toast them is to do it on the stovetop - I dry-roast them in a skillet, using one that is large enough for all the nuts to fit in one layer.

Julia said...

Dry roasting is definitely a good idea. I decided to do them in the oven because it was already one to roast the squash.