Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa & Feta Cheese

I've made this a couple of times this month for different people and both times it was inhaled. I was a little surprised as I thought it was in danger of being dull or bland with so little in the way of seasonings. It isn't though; it's just plain, in a good way. I think it's a bit better made with chicken stock rather than water, but you could also keep it vegetarian with vegetable broth if you wanted. I didn't have any and just went with water the second time, which was certainly fine.

I'm also calling for about twice as much parsley as I actually used. It looked like lots when I mixed it in, but it shrivelled up as it baked and was barely noticeable.

These were our delightful little Gill's Golden Pippin squashes, which really are little. If you use standard acorn squash you should have a fighting chance of getting all the filling into the squash.

4 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 30 minutes prep time



Cook the Quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water or broth
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put the above into the rice cooker; cook.

Or you can cook it in a pot on the stove in which case, bring it all to a boil then reduce the heat as low as it will go and cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Allow about 20 minutes. But really, get a rice cooker already.

Bake, Stuff, & Bake (Again) the Squash:
2 medium acorn squashes
1 large carrot
1 large onion
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chopped parsley
200 grams feta cheese
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup water or broth

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half from stem to tip, and scrape out the seeds. (Save them! Roast them!) Rub the cut surfaces with a little oil and bake the squash for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and grate the carrot. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Wash, dry well, and chop the parsley. Dice the feta cheese fairly finely.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the carrot an onion until softened, then add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for a minute or 2 more then mix in the cooked quinoa. Season generously with pepper.

Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the parsley and feta. When the squash have cooked for 45 minutes, fill them with the quinoa mixture. If there is more than will fit into the squash, arrange the extra evenly around the squash pieces. Drizzle the water or broth over the quinoa mixture as evenly as you can.

Return the squash to the oven for about 30 minutes.

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