Fall is truly one of my favorite times of the year, the leaves are falling, the weather is chillier and everyone’s excited for the upcoming holidays. It just makes me feel like cooking!
I love taking advantage of the beautiful squash when it’s in season and that season is now. Pumpkins, acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash, there are so many varieties and all so good! This acorn squash is fun to make and beautiful to serve. The acorn squash is similar in flavor to the butternut squash yet has a bit of a nutty taste to it as well. One squash typically feeds two, they’re hearty, flavorful and delicious, enjoy!
3-4 Acorn Squash
8 oz Mushrooms, chopped
1 Sweet Onion, chopped
1 Lb Hot Italian Ground Sausage
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 cup Fresh Sage leaves, chopped
2 tsp Fresh Thyme leaves
2 Granny Smith Apples, chopped, reserve one for later use
2 stalks Celery, diced
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Slivered Almonds
2 1/4 cups Long Grain Wild Rice, uncooked
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 Tbs Butter
1 tsp Cinnamon
1-2 Tbs Soy Sauce, to taste
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, reserve 1/2 cup for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Clean Squash well.
Slice a very thin piece off of each end of the squash careful not to cut off too much, this will help it sit flat by creating a platform.
Rub squash down with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, lay cut side down on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. By laying squash cut side down like an upside-down bowl, it allows the squash to gently steam as it bakes.
Place squash in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until tender but still slightly firm and holding shape. Remove from oven and set aside, when cooled a bit turn squash cut side up to fill.
While the squash are in the oven you can prepare your stuffing. You could easily make this ahead of time as well.
Sauté sausage, onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, basil, sage and thyme together for about 15 minutes, add 1 chopped apple and 1/2 cup almonds, continue to sauté until apples are tender.
Add rice, chicken broth, salt & pepper, 1 Tbs butter, let come to a boil.
Cover and cook on low heat for about 45 minutes or according to directions on rice package.
Remove lid, add 1 chopped apple, 1/2 cup almonds, soy sauce, 1 Tbs butter, cinnamon and sauté together until apples are tender and all liquid is absorbed, add 1 cup cheese, mix well and set aside until ready to use.
Fill each squash half with stuffing creating a nice mound on top, sprinkle with cheese and bake in a baking dish for 25-30 minutes at 400.
From my home to yours, enjoy!