usapears.com This could be made vegan by swapping the butter and chicken broth for vegetarian options.
- 3 acorn squash
- fresh ground pepper
- freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup wild rice
- 1 1⁄2 cups canned low sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, plus extra
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 large celery rib, finely chopped
- 2 firm pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1⁄3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1⁄3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1⁄3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings.
- If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste.
- Using 3 tablespoons of the butter, dot each half with some butter. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water, in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated.
- In a 10-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Swirl to coat the pan and saute the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the pears and saute 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer.
- Add the sage, thyme, and parsley and saute 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sauteed vegetables and pears, walnuts and dried cranberries.
- Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly.
- Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces. Dot each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil.
- Bake at 350 degrees F until heated through, about 20 minutes.
This was a delicious recipe - not too sweet, good textures, good mix of flavors. Big hit in the house. I made it exactly as described in the recipe and served it as dinner with only some bread for the side. The portions are very generous - no one was able to eat the whole serving (one half of a squash plus filling). Everyone had leftovers.
The only negative is how time consuming the prep was, but worth it! It was a good Sunday afternoon autumn dinner.