Delicate Squash with Thanksgiving Stuffing

Delicate Squash with Thanksgiving Stuffing

From the Thermador and Tastespotting Ultimate Recipe Contest
Submitted by: Katie Webster 
www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com                          


On Thanksgiving day, plate real estate is a buyer's market. That's why Katie loves this recipe. In fact, she thinks it is  genius, if she says so herself! It is a problem-solver for many menu-planning-challenged Thanksgiving hosts and hostesses. It combines two Thanksgiving sides into one and doubles as a Vegetarian entrée. So you can serve these stuffed squash cut in half as a side dish or keep them whole as a vegetarian entrée for the non-turkey gobblers. Plus because the stuffing physically goes on top of the squash, taking up only vertical square inches, you then have more lateral plate real estate for other goodies.


Ingredients: 
3 large delicata squash
4 slices day old multi-grain bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 3 cups or 5 oz.)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 small apple, peeled and diced
1 large shallot, minced
¾ cup finely chopped celery
1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
1 egg
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
2. Cut delicate squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp from the center. Lay cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake until just soft when poked, 35 to 40 minutes. [It will continue to cook in another step, so don't let it get too mushy] Remove from the oven and carefully turn cut side-up.
3. Meanwhile, spread bread on another large baking sheet and toast in the oven until dry but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
4.Meanwhile melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Add onion, apple, shallot and celery and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to prevent from browning too quickly if necessary, 8 to 10 minutes total. Let cool slightly.
5. Whisk broth, egg, sage, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture and stir to combine. Stir in bread and pepitas. Mound stuffing into the cooked squash. Return to the oven and roast until the stuffing is hot all the way through and golden on top, about 40 minutes.


Makes 6 Vegetarian Entrée servings or 12 side dish servings. Active Time: 35 minutes. Total Time 2 hours.