Autumn Stuffed Acorn Squash

The winter squash have arrived! I was about to leave the farmer’s market when I remembered the beautiful squash I had seen earlier, and I rushed back in to grab a cute little butternut and this humongous acorn squash. When I bought a smaller one earlier in the season, the farmer told me to roast it for an hour—an hour!? I thought. Who has time for that? But believe me when I say it is worth all that patience—it’s silky, creamy, and if you roast a giant one like I did, you’ll be stocked for a week! Wondering what to do with all that acorn squash? This light, cozy recipe is a good place to start. I paired it with Against the Grain collards sautéed with their fresh ginger, fall-spiced lentils, toasted pine nuts, sweet fresh figs, and rich basque cheese (or gruyere, either one works.) Sweet, creamy, light, and comforting all at once—this recipe is the perfect fall meal! Enjoy your acorn squash!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 large acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 cups collard greens, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 inch piece of leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s cooked lentils (or lentils cooked on your own, spiced to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • About 1/4 cup basque or gruyere cheese
  • 2 fresh figs
  • Optional: fennel fronds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and thoroughly coat acorn squash halves in olive oil. Bake 45-60 min or until a fork easily goes all the way through
  2. While the acorn squash is baking, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan on high and add leeks and ginger. When it starts to sizzle, add collards and reduce heat to low, tossing to coat. Cook until collards are wilted and start to get crispy, 6-8 min
  3. Set a medium pan over medium heat and add pine nuts. Toast 1-2 min, then add a drizzle of olive oil and lentils. Cook 1-2 min until warm and pine nuts are crispy
  4. When acorn squash finishes cooking, divide lentils and pine nuts between the two halves and stuff. Top with cheese and bake 1-2 min, or until the cheese has melted
  5. Make a bed of collards and place the cooked acorn squash on top. Finish with sliced figs and (optional) fennel fronds

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