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Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Pecan and Cranberry

What you need: 

3 acorn squashes, cut in 1/2 and seeded
2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mix of whole grain rice varieties (I use Lundberg Wild Rice Blend)
3 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup scallion greens, thinly sliced on a bias
salt and pepper, to taste

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush acorn squash halves with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and place cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.
2. In an oven-safe saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions, celery, sage and salt; cook over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Add the rice; cook for a few minutes to toast. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
3. Cover saucepan with oven-safe lid and place saucepan and sheet of squash in the oven. Bake rice mixture for 45 to 50 minutes, or until liquids have absorbed. Bake acorn squash for 45 minutes, or until squash flesh is soft and surface is browned.
4. Let rice sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and toss rice with pecans, dried cranberries, and scallion greens. Add salt and pepper.
5. Stuff each squash half with a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of rice mixture and serve with side of roasted brussels sprouts and a liberal amount of cranberry-pecan sauce.
This recipe is courtesy of Chef Jesse Miner: http://chefjesseminer.com/

Preparation Time: 
20 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 
45 minutes
Servings: 
6

SO HOW'D IT GO?

This was awesome! I made it for the family on Christmas and it was a big hit. The leftovers froze really well and we just had it again a few weeks ago. Yum!

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I made a pretty close version of this for a friend yesterday.  My modifications: no vegetable broth, quinoa instead of rice, pumpkin seeds instead of pecans, no scallion greens. 

While the presentation was beautiful, I thought it was lacking a little in flavor (but maybe if I had added the veg broth it would have been better?).  I am going to make this again and try to work on the flavor.

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I made this for X-mas dinner, and got rave reviews from everyone - the hardcore omni meat-eaters and us vegans alike!  One of the meat-eating guests even asked me for a copy of the recipe the same night, so she could make it again at home!  Topped with homemade cranberry sauce, it was so festive and added a great sweet & fruity flavor to balance the savory flavors.  I served the squash in quarters (rather than halves), topped with the rice stuffing, and poured cranberry sauce across each one.  It's a filling dish, so serving in quarters allowed everyone to get a taste of other dishes as well (and they still looked beautiful!).  I had a little rice stuffing left over, as others have mentioned, but I think I used more of the rice doing the squash in quarters.  I also soaked the rice for a few hours before cooking.

This was a great, festive holiday dish that everyone enjoyed.  I will make this again.

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I made this to take to Thanksgiving yesterday, where I was the only vegan (everyone else ate meat). Some people were not fans of squash, but other than that, everyone who tried it complimented me on it. I would like to tweak it a little bit because I think it has a lot of merit and is tasty, but I ran into some problems. I was asked to bring it again to our family Christmas dinner at which I will again be the only vegan or vegetarian.

I followed the recipe almost exactly. Changes: equal volume of my own "poultry seasoning" instead of plain sage, reduced onion (and used red onion) and added some tart green apple, finely diced, to make up the volume/moisture from missing onion, no salt added because my stock, a vegan chicken-style stock made from Better Than Boullion, was already salted.

My biggest problem was that there was insufficient liquid to cook the rice. I had to boil more water/stock and add it in, periodically checking to ensure it was absorbed. So everything was cooked, but I feel the texture would have been better had I added all the liquid at once. Perhaps next time I'll cook the rice/stuffing mix on its own on the stove or in my rice cooker after the initial sauté once I determine the appropriate amount of liquid.

I had a lot of leftover rice/cranberry/nut mixture after stuffing the squash, so I will probably make some more squash or eat this as a pilaf on its own as leftovers. I have enough to fill three more acorn squashes.

I made a cranberry sauce (whole cranberries, sugar, a bit of water, zest of one tangelo--what's in on my partner's tree--, sectioned & chopped tangelo) to serve with it, and it complemented it very nicely. There were other Thanksgiving veggies eaten with it, notably a room-temperature green bean, chickpea, kidney bean, and tomato salad I'd served with a fresh lemon-olive oil dressing. I feel the balance worked well.

Thanks for sharing this.

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Very nice recipe. Had it with a side of spinach.

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This was quite good and very festive-looking! I've tried to upload a photo of it a hundred times, and each time it says that the upload was successful - but a picture never appears. Sorry!

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Oh, My. Gosh.

This recipe was AMAZING.  We served this as our holiday Main Course and it was so good..

Changes: Used poultry seasoning instead of sage, baked rice in a covered baking dish instead of the pan it started in, cut back onions a bit, and instead of using the sauces mentioned at the end, I drizzled it all with some agave nectar when finished. It added that final touch of sweet to balance the savory.  We had rice leftover, but did not complain. It's tasty on its own too =-)

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