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Squash with Broccoli Rabe & Quinoa Stuffing

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Stuffing some roasted squash halves with whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and dried fruit makes for an excellent vegetarian or vegan main course option around the holidays. This dish is easy to prepare and the fresh sage gives it that traditional stuffing-like flavor that everyone loves. Quinoa and marcona almonds provide a nice hit of protein. The little swipe of balsamic glaze offers just enough of a sweet and tangy complement to the bold broccoli rabe.

Recipe by Laura Wright
Laura is the author of The First Mess, a highly-awarded vegan food blog with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. You can find her work on The Huffington Post, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living, and a number of other media outlets. Her first cookbook, The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons, will be published by Avery in March, 2017.

Serves: 8
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 2 Acorn/pepper squash
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ Cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 Cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Celery stalk, diced
  • 1 Small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
  • 1 Clove of garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ Bunch broccoli rabe, tough parts of stems trimmed
  • 3 Tbsp. dried currants
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze
  • 3 Tbsp. marcona almonds, chopped

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Directions

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1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut the acorn squashes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon. Then, cut each of the seeded squash halves in half once more. You should have 8 evenly sized wedges.

3. Place the squash wedges facing up on the parchment-lined baking tray. Brush the squash flesh with about half of the olive oil. Season all of the squash with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the minced rosemary over top. Slide the tray into the oven and roast the squash for 35-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

4. While the squash is roasting, combine the rinsed quinoa, vegetable stock, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa has puffed up. Set aside.

5. In a large pot with a well-fitting lid, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallots to the pot and stir. Cook until shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the diced celery and carrot and stir. Cook until all of the vegetables are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the minced sage and garlic to the pot and stir. Chop the broccoli rabe into bite-sized pieces and add it to the pot.

6. Stir the vegetables to coat and season with salt and pepper. Add a ¼ cup of water to the pot and place the lid on top. Let the broccoli rabe steam in the pot for about 3-4 minutes. Then, remove the lid and stir in the cooked quinoa and dried currants. Remove the pot from the heat.

7. Place roasted squash wedges on a serving platter and carefully spoon the broccoli rabe and quinoa stuffing into the natural cavities of the squash. Drizzle all of the stuffed squash pieces with the balsamic glaze and garnish with the chopped marcona almonds. Serve immediately.

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Note: You can make your own balsamic glaze by reducing balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, but I find it much easier (and economically advantageous) to buy a pre-made, high-quality glaze.

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