Butternut & Beyond

Our leaves may not change color here in Vero Beach, but we’ll help you get into the fall spirit with three autumn squash dishes 
Squash23
Stuffed acorn squash

All around the country, November marks the start of the holiday season. Here in Florida, it marks the long-awaited “real” start of fall. The days begin to feel shorter and the temperature finally starts to dip enough to require a light sweater. It’s also the perfect opportunity to start cooking more autumnal recipes, like a hearty soup with all the cozy feels.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, perhaps this month finds you entertaining guests. Why not wow them with a dish that looks as good as it tastes? Acorn squash with colorful stuffing is both delicious and show-stopping. In fact, it might just be the perfect way to shake up your usual turkey-day spread.

For those nights when you need an unfussy supper with minimal prep, try our spaghetti squash boats and let your oven do all the work. Because the holidays also tend to bring with them a bit more indulgence, it’s nice to have a few new healthy-ish recipes in your back pocket. You know — the ones that taste great but don’t make you feel lousy the next day. We think these three winter squash dishes fit that bill and will be a welcome addition to your fall table.

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Servings: 2

This dish is a real crowd pleaser, packing a major visual punch and lots of flavor. The skin of an acorn squash is a bit too tough to eat, but the flesh roasts up nice and tender. The squash halves create the perfect vessel for a warm quinoa stuffing.

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1⁄4  cup crumbled feta
  • 1⁄4  cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1⁄4  cup chopped pistachio nutmeats
  • 1⁄4  cup dried cherries
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of squash halves with olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, cut-side down, for 20 minutes, then flip them over and continue cooking, cut-side up, until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife at the thickest part, another 10–20 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Transfer warm quinoa to a mixing bowl and add the feta, mint, pistachios, cherries, lemon zest, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the quinoa mixture to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture between the cavities of the squash and serve immediately.

Categories: Local Flavor