I don't remember where I saw this recipe originally, but I think it was on Tastespotting. Wherever I found it, it sounded intriguing so tonight I gave it a whirl. It came out pretty dang good, but I only had black raisins around and I think it would be WAY better with either golden raisins or dried cranberries. Either way, it's a fairly simple vegetarian recipe (and could easily be made vegan if you replaced the butter with olive oil).
Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 acorn squash, halved stem to end, seeds removed
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup red or white quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
- ⅓ cup golden raisins or dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped shelled unsalted pistachios
- 2 Tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Brush the insides of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the flesh can be pierced easily with a fork, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 10 to 12 minutes for white quinoa, 18 to 20 minutes for red. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and wilt, stirring and turning occasionally with tongs, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cooked quinoa, raisins or cranberries, pistachios, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- When the squash are cooked, turn them over so the cut side is up. Fill each half completely with filling and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of the remaining Parmesan cheese.
- Return the filled squash to the oven and cook an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve hot.
I only used one squash instead of two, which was great because I could "overstuff" them and still have some leftover filling to nibble on while they were in the oven.