I love acorn squash. It’s sweet and earthy and brilliantly yellow. And it makes the perfect vehicle for stuffing all sorts of wonderfully delicious things into it.
I made a stuffing of rainbow chard, bacon, brown rice, sweet and tart dried cherries and toasted pecans. I stuffed it into a just beginning to soften roasted acorn squash and drowned the whole thing in nutty Gruyere cheese, melted to golden brown and bubbly perfection. It was a satisfying and delicious dinner that reminded me that fall isn’t over yet.
This recipe is simple and satisfying and makes dinner something to look forward to. Serve this squash with a nice green salad dressed in a mustardy vinaigrette.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash, split in half, seeds removed
- 3-4 slices applewood smoked bacon, sliced into lardons
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cups rainbow chard, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- olive oil, salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Rub the cut sides of the squash and the cavity with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, it should be softened but not cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
In a saute pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy and it’s fat has been rendered. Add the garlic and shallot to the pan and saute until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the rainbow chard, honey and red wine vinegar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the greens have wilted and the honey and vinegar have reduced and glazed everything. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
Stir the cooked brown rice, cherries and pecans into the bacon and chard mixture. Taste it for seasoning one more time.
Flip the squash over and carefully fill the cavity with the stuffing making sure to overfill it to a form a bountiful mound. Cover each mound with a generous amount of the shredded gruyere cheese. Place the filled and cheesed squash back into the oven for another ten minutes to finish cooking the squash and melt the cheese to bubbly browned perfection.
The filling was sweet and savory with a wonderful array of textures. It was the perfect compliment to the soft, sweet squash and with all that melted cheese…puhleeese! Make this for dinner tonight, seriously!