Delicata Squash with Apple Pecan Quinoa Stuffing

DSC_0688 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.

DSC_0684

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
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, maple syrup, cider vinegar and dijon mustard.  Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Stuff each squash half with 1/4 of the mixture and cover with 2 provolone halves.
  8. Turn oven to broil.  Place squash pan under broiler for one to two minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.

DSC_0710

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s