Acorn Squash All Dressed Up

A farmer friend gave me three large acorn squash, a vegetable that’s begun to bore me. It’s nutritious and visually stunning, though, with its rippled green exterior and hollowed orange core. Here’s what I did to reignite my interest in acorns.

scoop out seeds

After halving the acorns,  I scraped out pulp and seeds with a serrated grapefruit spoon. Then I bushed the interiors and exteriors very lightly with olive oil.

Brush lightly with olive oil.

Next I whisked together a small handful of crushed dried sage from my garden, about a teaspoon of honey, a couple short squirts of fig vinegar, and a tablespoon or so more of oil.

Crush sage, then whisk into honey, vinegar, and oil to taste.

I brushed the sage mixture over the squash interiors. Then I  spooned the remaining mixture into the acorn hollows.

Brush sage mixture inside squash.

I baked the acorn halves cut side up on a baking sheet at 350° F in my oven for about 45 minutes (until the acorns pierced easily with a fork). I could’ve served the acorn as is, but I wanted to add stuffing. So I prepared stuffing ingredients while the acorns baked. Using ingredients I had on hand, I minced 1/2 a yellow onion, a large tart apple, and a cup of celery. Then I sauteed this mixture in a large skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat. When the onions were aromatic and the celery just tender but not soggy, I tossed in a scant cup of dry, packaged savory bread stuffing and a handful of sliced almonds. I didn’t add salt or other spices, relying instead on the stuffing mix for flavor. After two or three minutes, I took this off the heat and stirred.

sautee filling

When the squash finished baking, I removed it from the oven and divided the stuffing equally, filling the six halves. Then I returned the baking sheet to the oven for about 15 minutes.

To enhance the plate’s visual appeal, I served the squash with lightly sauteed broccolini, orange slices, and cottage cheese garnished with toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Cherry tomatoes would pair well, too. So would brown or basmati rice and vegetarian or regular link sausages.

plated squash