Today on my lunch break, I was at home – digging into my leftover nachos – when I noticed an acorn squash I’d purchased the week before staring back at me on the table. I remembered that I should use it soon, before it goes bad and I have to throw it out, (like so many squashes of my past). I’ve never purchased one before, let alone cooked one, so I was genuinely stumped. I felt like the two main veins of recipes I’ve seen for them in the past were stuffed or soup, so I went to my faithful friend Twitter and asked if anyone had any great suggestions on how a noob could successfully cook this particular gourd.
Fellow, (but non-vegan) Tacoma food blogger and avid tweeter, Adrienne, said:
“@veganmoxie Stuff it something like this,” and included a link to a stuffed squash recipe from a beautiful blog I’d never come across. And it just happened to be vegan. I looked it over and immediately responded, “that looks glorious!” When I got home, I peered around to make sure I had everything for the recipe.
I didn’t, so I made some changes. Like the name, for instance:
Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash with White Beans, Walnuts and Cranberries
Adapted from The First Mess‘ Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pine Nuts, Sour Cherries and Sage recipe
Here are all the major changes I made to the original:
- Used cooked brown rice in lieu of wheat berries, (in the interest of saving time and not having to track down wheat berries)
- Used 1/4. onion instead of shallots
- Used dried versus fresh herbs, as I had them
- Swapped out the cherries for cranberries
- Used walnuts instead of pine nuts
- Added 1 c. rinsed, drained white beans
Laura suggested cutting the squash in half, seasoning with salt and pepper, and placing a smashed garlic clove underneath each half while roasting. I believe this step to be genius. The squash was incredibly flavorful as a result, and I threw the roasted cloves into the pan while making the stuffing. Never enough garlic.
This squash and stuffing combo really screamed ‘fall’ to me, from the first bite. The garlic and veggies added a savory nod, the cranberries mixed in a little sweetness while the walnuts added great texture and crunch. In my head I imagined this being made with barley instead of brown rice, and I think I’ll do that next time. Other than that the recipe did prove to be glorious, and I think my adaptations to the recipe came out as well in practice as they did in my head. Thanks for helping me get over my acorn squash fears, Adrienne and Laura!
What’s your favorite way to serve acorn squash?