Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash

I've been dying to make this delectable side dish ever since I saw it in the cookbook, "Morning Glory Farm and the family that feeds an island." It looked so colorful and flavorful, and it as it turned out, it was.

But first I had to find some wheat berries and that wasn't as easy as I hoped. They don't carry them at my local grocery store and we even came up empty at Trader Joe's. Finally I located some at the Orleans Whole Food Store yesterday.

I wanted to make this dish to submit to Side Dish Showdown hosted each month by the delightful Reenie at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.

The theme for March was: "Anything Goes with a Secondary Challenge to try something new, whether it be a vegetable, grain or herb." I've never cooked wheat berries, so that was my new ingredient.

The crunchiness of the wheat berries and wild rice was delightful and a nice counterpoint to the soft squash. The sweet/tart flavor combination of the pears, apple cider and dried cranberries was smashing.

We served the baked stuffed acorn squash with an herb roasted chicken and a spinach salad.

The Recipe

Baked Stuffed Winter Squash
(from "Morning Glory Farm" cookbook)
Serves 8

4 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 cup roasted pears
1/4 cup canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 large shallot, diced
1/3 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast seeded and halved squash cut side down 30 - 40 minutes.

While squash is roasting, cook wild rice and wheat berries according to package directions.

Once squash is soft, cut pears into large dice and toss with 1/8 cup canola oil. Roast on sheet tray about 20 minutes.

Saute shallot in rest of oil over medium heat. Pour apple cider in with shallots, cooking and stirring to deglaze pan.

Mix rice, berries, roasted pears, and cranberries into shallot mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff each squash with filling and serve.


Anonymous said...

Excellent side dish, very pretty and I love the filling!

Christo Gonzales said...

I think the wheat berries take this over the top - both hearty and good looking - this could be lunch!

Bev's Blog said...

I can't wait to come to your house and eat this! When might that be?

vanillasugarblog said...

did you see the sun? OMG!
the rain is gone.
never had wheat berries; i know i know i should

pam said...

This looks really good! I love a hearty filling side dish!

Reeni said...

I just love stuffed squash! This is so pretty to look at and I imagine just as delicious to eat...Even though I never had a wheat berry either! I'm sure I would love this. Thanks so much for sending it to my Showdown! I did a little happy dance when I saw your comment.

Karen said...

I've never had wheat berries before, but they sure do sound good - especially in this delicious stuffing... love all the ingredients stuffed into one of my favorite veggies :)

Deb in Hawaii said...

This looks so delicious! I love wheat berries--I just bought some the other day and was going to make a salad with them --I like the chewy texture.

Joanne said...

I am constantly looking for winter squash recipes and love that this has not only wheatberries but dried cranberries as well! How much more delicious can you get?