That is a mouthful. Figuratively as well as satiatingly…is that even a word? I must call Webster’s to confirm, but since I made it up and I like it, I am going to use it anyway. Basically, you will feel just as stuffed from all the stuff stuffed in the squash.
The White Swan Squash is actually an Acorn Squash (aka Pepper Squash) wearing a ghost costume and is only available up until Halloween, then it mysteriously vanishes into the misty night until next Fall. Ok, major fib there, but it sounded spooky didn’t it? The only difference from a regular Acorn Squash is a creamy white skin. There is also a Golden variety with a sun-kissed golden hued skin. They both taste the same and look exactly the same aside from their skin colour.
So I was at my local market last week and spotted the ghostly squash and figured I would give it a whirl. I love squash, pretty much any squash, except Zucchini, those things are horrid, I have no idea why anyone likes those things. But back to the white acorn squash. I brought the little ghost home and set about devising a suitable stuffing for it. A vegetarian stuffing as our daughter is a vegetarian and I am always on the hunt or thinking up new things for her to eat when she visits. Side plates of carrot sticks and green beans are wearing thin these days.
So this is what I came up, it may sound long, convoluted and involved, but be patient, the end result is delicious! Enjoy!
1 White Swan Squash (or regular Acorn Squash)
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa (red, black or white quinoa, I used black as it contrasted nicely with the light colour of the squash flesh)
1/2 Cup diced Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup diced White Onion
1/2 Cup diced Mushrooms (I will be omitting these for my daughter, she may be a vegetarian, but she hates mushrooms)
1/2 Cup roasted Tomatoes with Basil and Oregano (recipe at the end)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese for garnish
Cut squash in half (lengthwise) and remove seeds and stringy pulp. Place cut sides down on a foil lined baking sheet. Add water to halfway up the cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for approximately 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool; set aside. Can be cooked a day ahead.
Meanwhile, cook quinoa to package directions *but* use vegetable broth instead of water, it gives a much nicer flavour; set aside to cool. Can also be cooked a day in advance.
In a medium saucepan, heat the Olive Oil over medium-low heat, add the peppers, onions and mushrooms and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and quinoa and stir to combine, cooking for another 2-3 minutes until heated through.
Divide mixture in half and stuff each half of the squash. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
This is great as a stand alone dish but also shines as a 2 in 1 side dish consisting of a grain + vegetables.
Oven Roasted Tomatoes with Basil and Oregano
5 – 6 large plum tomatoes or regular tomatoes (the roasting will take longer with regular tomatoes as they are juicier), sliced into 1/4″ to 3/8″ slices
8 Basil leaves
4 Springs fresh Oregano
Salt and Pepper
On a large cookie sheet lined with parchment, lay out tomato slices, filling the entire tray. Season with salt and pepper, then scatter basil and oregano over tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over all and roast in a 350°F oven for at least an hour. The longer you roast them, the sweeter they become so this is really a personal preference. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in a container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a container for storage in the freezer. These are also excellent as a pizza topping or added to your favourite pasta dish.