It’s manageable, no risk of cutting your hands off as you try to saw through it like some of it’s relatives (I’m looking at you butternut). And therefore, a great one to start off the season with. I’d kind of like to keep my fingertips intact.
So, how do you eat a squash you’re not crazy for besides it’s appearance?
You stuff it.
Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. And yes, it’s stuffing not dressing. Dressing is stuff you put on your salad. Got it? Ok, now we can move on.
My mom makes the best damn stuffing in the world come Thanksgiving. It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t have specifics. All I know is there is a lot of sausage, raisins, apples and butter. Lots and lots of butter. My plate on Thanksgiving is usually about 75% stuffing, 5% turkey and 20% other sides. Turkey is actually my least favorite part of the meal. I think the bird is just highly overrated and who really wants to wake up at 6am on a holiday to throw that sucker in the oven? Yeah, not me. After the holiday is over, all I find myself thinking about is what I can “stuff” with the leftover stuffing.
That’s kind of the role of the acorn squash in this recipe. A vehicle to be stuffed. While it’s cooked with butter and maple syrup, it’s really all about the stuffing inside it. <–That’s redundant huh? Stuffing by definition is “inside” I guess. Moving on…
I wanted to make this stuffing scream fall. There’s nothing like some lentils, apples, onions, and rosemary for that. Dried cherries, pepitas, carrots and celery also got thrown in.
Since making this on Wednesday, I’ve eaten it in the acorn squash, by the spoonful out of the tupperware container and on a toasted flatbread with cheddar cheese. Really, the possibilities are endless.
It would be delicious with some sausage or chicken sausage in it too if you do the meat thing. I probably would’ve done that if my freezer had anything but ice cream, phyllo dough, bread and OJ in it right now. I’m playing this new game. It’s called how long can you hold out before going to the grocery store (my beloved produce store doesn’t count). I’m at 2 weeks 3 days and counting.
So if you’re a stuffing fiend like me, go buy a cute little acorn squash and stuff it. It won’t disappoint.
Apple & Lentil Stuffed
Yield: 2 servings with leftover stuffing
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1 medium apple, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place squash in baking pan with 1/2 inch of water on the bottom. Divide butter and maple syrup between the squash halves and add to the cavities. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until flesh is soft. While squash is cooking heat sauté pan to medium-high. Add olive oil, onions, celery, carrots & rosemary. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add apples next, sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add lentils, cherries & pepitas. Season generously with salt and pepper. Once squash is cooked, remove from oven. Using a fork, scrape the flesh so that the butter & maple syrup mixture is absorbed. Fill squash with stuffing mixture and serve.