Tag Archives: butternut squash

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Well hello there, how have you been?  I am not sure what happened but I must have blinked because October is almost over and we haven’t done any blogging.  Yikes.  Luckily, it is fall and we just got our first Winter CSA distribution so there is plenty of inspiration to go around.  The winter CSA is lots of fun because the distributions are over flowing with tons of vegetables, apples, dried beans, and other goodies.  With that big box of yum, we were quickly inspired to make this delicious (almost vegetarian) butternut squash stuffed with flavors of fall.

Apples and Bacon (home cured)

Apples and Bacon (home cured)

The squash is roasted with butter and maple syrup and then filled with a stuffing made from leeks, apples, bacon, brown rice, and more maple syrup.  The stuffing nicely balances the sweet with the savory and makes for a light but filling main dish.  The recipe calls for butternut squash but you could easily substitute acorn or another hard shelled squash if that is what you had on hand.

Chopped Leek

Chopped Leek

This dish requires a few steps to make but it can almost all be done ahead of time.  It makes a great Thanksgiving option because you can prep it all a day or two in advance and then heat it up right before serving.

Ready for Roasting

Ready for Roasting

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Ingredients:

2 medium butternut squash

1 tbls butter

3 tbls real maple syrup, divided

2.5 ounces thick cut bacon

1 leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 small apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 cup cooked brown rice

To Make:

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Arrange the squash in a roasting pan, cut side up.  Divide the butter and 1 tbls of the syrup between the four cavities.  Fill the pan with about an inch of water, cover with foil, and roast at 375 until mostly tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove the foil, rub the butter and syrup from the cavity all over the squash and cook for another 10-15 minutes until it starts to caramelize around the edges.

Meanwhile chop the bacon and cook in a heavy skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp.  Remove the bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels.  Drain off all but about 1 tbls of the bacon fat from the pan.  Add the leeks and garlic and sauté until the leeks are softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the apples to the pan and sauté until they are soft, another 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and 2 tbls of maple syrup to bind it all together.  At this point, you can refrigerate both the squash and the stuffing, tightly wrapped in separate containers, until you are ready to serve.
Mound the stuffing into the cavity of the squash halves and bake in a 375 degree oven until warmed through, 10-20 minutes, depending on how cold everything was.
To Serve:
Serve hot as a main dish or as a hefty side.  Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using olive oil or butter instead of bacon fat for sauteing the filling.  Serves 4.

 

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Filed under Dinner, Fruit, Recipes, Rice, Vegetables

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

We got our first winter CSA distribution this weekend.  For us, these distributions are like Christmas.  The excitement is palpable as we unpack our boxes.  We lay all the vegetables and fruit out on the kitchen island and ooo and ahh over the bounty.  You might here things such as, “Yay, we got turnips” and, “awesome, we finally have leeks…  It’s been too long since we’ve had leeks.”   Trying to eat seasonally means that we haven’t really enjoyed many of these veggies since last fall.

Squash - cubed, seasoned, and ready to roast

Our first order of business (after the vegetable fawning) was to put together a soup using a very large butternut squash we had from our last summer distribution, some of the great ingredients we got from our winter share (celery, onion, carrots), and the last of our smoked chicken stock that we made this summer.  The soup is a thick, stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup.  It is nice as a first course and equally good as the meal.  Roasting the squash and garlic sweetens and intensifies the flavors of both vegetables.  The soup takes a little while because of the roasting, but is simple to put together.

Veggies ready for the heat

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash (2-3 lbs)

2 tbls vegetable oil

1 small-to-medium head of garlic

2 tbls butter

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 small carrots, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

3 cups chicken stock

4 cups water

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp thyme

2 tbls honey

2 tbls lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup half-and-half*

To Make:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Peel and halve the squash.  Scoop out the seeds (discard) and roughly chop the squash.  Toss the squash chunks with the oil, spread on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast the squash until tender, about 60 minutes.  Meanwhile, cut the top off of the head of garlic.  Drizzle with olive oil, place in a small baking dish, and cover tightly with foil.  Roast in the oven (with the squash) for about 30 minutes or until softened and lightly browned.

While the squash and garlic are roasting, heat a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery and saute until softened and golden, about 25 minutes.  Add the stock, water, oregano, thyme, garlic cloves, and squash.  Bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Using a stick blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth (be sure to puree in batches if using a traditional blender and watch out for steam).  Stir in the honey and lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.  Right before serving, remove from heat and stir in the half and half.

To Serve:

Serves 8 as a soup course, 4-6 as a main course

* If you wanted a lower calorie soup, you could substitute buttermilk for the half-and-half, just omit the lemon juice.

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Filed under Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian