Delicata is sweet with an edible skin just like acorn squash, but the texture is much smoother and creamier. I love this dish as a vegetarian main course served with mixed greens or as a side dish to accompany pork tenderloin. Filled with the flavors of fall, this is comfort food at its healthiest.
Delicata Squash with Apple Pecan Quinoa Stuffing
serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 delicata squash
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/2 in dice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- 4 slices provolone cheese, each cut in half
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, maple syrup, cider vinegar and dijon mustard. Set aside.
- Cut both squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove all seeds and pulp. Place two of the four halves flesh side down in an 8×8-in microwave safe dish. Fill pan with 1/2 inch of water and microwave until squash is tender all the way through, 8-10 minutes. Repeat with second squash. Place all four squash halves in a rectangular baking dish flesh side up, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mash lightly with a fork, leaving skin and a 1/2 inch rim of squash completely intact.
- While squash is cooking, rinse quinoa well in a fine sieve. Place rinsed quinoa, salt , and 1 and 3/4 cups of water in a pan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover, cooking for 12-15 minutes or until all water has evaporated. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes. Fluff with fork.
- Toast pecans in a large saute pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes or until nuts are warm and fragrant. Set aside.
- Wipe saute pan clean with a paper towel, removing all nut skins and pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, apples, and garlic to pan and saute until onions are translucent and apples have softened, about five minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add cooked quinoa, pecans, cranberries, sage, and the maple/cider vinegar/dijon mixture to pan, season with salt and pepper, and stir until ingredients are thoroughly combined and warmed through.
- Stuff each squash half with 1/4 of the mixture and cover with 2 provolone halves.
- Turn oven to broil. Place squash pan under broiler for one to two minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.