Today marks the first day of fall, and as the weather shifts from warm summer nights, to cool fall evenings, it's time to put the barbecue away and gear up for lovely Sunday dinners. Although it's still a little early, many squash varieties, such as acorn, are at their peak. To get you into the swing of fall, I thought we'd start things off with stuffed acorn squash. This recipe from Alton Brown is guaranteed to make your shift from summer to fall a smooth one. To get the recipe,
If you prefer, substitute pork with ground turkey or tofu to create another taste sensation.
Even though the ingredients list is quite long, this recipe comes together in a snap.
4 small acorn squash, 1 to 1 1/4 pounds each
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, completely thawed, drained and chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Generous pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Makes 4 servings
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut 1-inch off the top of each acorn squash and scoop out the seeds. If necessary in order for the squash to sit upright, cut off a small portion of the bottom. Put 1 of the 4 pieces of butter in the cavity of each squash. Set squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown the ground pork until no longer pink. Remove the meat from the pan, add the olive oil and saute the onion, celery, and carrot until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.
- Return the pork to the pan along with the cooked rice, spinach, pine nuts, oregano and salt and pepper, to taste. Stirring constantly, heat mixture thoroughly, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Divide the mixture evenly among the squash, top each squash with its lid and bake for 1 hour or until the squash is tender. Serve immediately.