This recipe comes from another attempt to take B up on his new offer “to try anything that I make even if it’s vegetables” (including vegetables he doesn’t like, like squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, chard, arugula … the list really just goes on).
I’d call this one a hit. B ate his whole half-stuffed squash (along with some chicken) and mine made a perfect dinner. I made the whole recipe (2 squashes = 4 servings) and had leftovers the rest of the week for lunch. I kid you not, I think it got better each consecutive day!
Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash (from Eating Well)
Here’s what you need:
- 2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tsp plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce (homemade is always the best!)
- 8 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 large bunch)
- 1 15-ounce can white beans or chickpeas, rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Here’s what you do:
- Cut each acorn squash in half and remove seeds. It’s easiest to do this if you microwave each squash for 40 seconds first – it will make them soft enough to cut in half.
- Cut a small slice off the bottom of each squash half so it rests flat. Brush the insides with 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place in a 9-by-13-inch (or large enough) microwave-safe dish. I used a pyrex so I could also put it in the oven. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High until the squash is fork-tender, about 12 minutes.
- While squash is microwaving, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add garlic to cooking onion and cook for about 1 minutes. Stir in water, tomato sauce and the remaining salt and pepper.
- Stir in chard, cover and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in white beans and olives; cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat broiler. I put mine at 500 degrees F.
- Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Remove squash from microwave (they should be fully cooked) and fill each squash half with about 1 cup of the chard mixture. If not already in a broiler-safe dish, place in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil in the center of the oven until the breadcrumbs are browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Enjoy! Serve alone or as a side dish.