A gem of a side dish for holiday meals. This recipe is visually appealing, but terrifically flavored and wonderful to eat. You could almost make a meal out of it alone.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
 
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetables
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pound loaf country-style bread; cut in 3/4-inch cubes
  • 6 acorn squashes (about 1 pound each)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small yellow onions; chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic; chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoons freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 Cup chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as sage, thyme and oregano)
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the bread is dry and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bread cool completely. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  4. Cut the stem end off each squash. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center and discard. Cut a thin slice off the bottom end of each squash to create a level surface. Season the squash cavities with salt and pepper. Stand the squashes upright in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
  5. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the nutmeg and the assorted fresh herbs. Add the onion mixture to the bowl with the bread. Add the parsley and cranberries and stir to combine. Stir in 1 1/2 Cups of the stock. Spoon the stuffing into the squash cavities, mounding a small amount on the top.
  6. Pour the remaining 1/2 Cup stock into the baking dish. Bake until the squashes are tender when pierced with a fork and the stuffing is browned, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. If the stuffing begins to brown too quickly, cover the squashes loosely with aluminum foil. Remove the squashes from the oven, drizzle each with 1 teaspoon olive oil and serve immediately.
Notes
This recipe yields 6 servings.

Comments: Serve this hearty side dish alongside roasted pork or the holiday turkey. It also makes a delicious vegetarian entree, paired with a tossed green salad.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 115 Calories; 10g Fat (82.2% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 718mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat.

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