One of my favorite things about winter (and I’m not going to lie, there’s not all that many) is the abundance of squash. Starting in September I get a little giddy to see all the local varieties coming in and by winter it’s just FANTASTIC. Acorn squash, while fairly standard, is actually my favorite. I have memories of my mom and dad making this growing up with brown sugar and water, and to this day it is my absolute favorite way to eat it.
So at my last grocery shop, I brought Z (as per usual). We have a “pick two” ritual in the produce section. She gets to pick a fruit and a vegetable that she has either never tried OR wants to try to cook herself. This week she choose apricot (loved it) and acorn squash. (That’s my girl!) I told her I was thinking of stuffing the squash with wintery things, she seemed on board initially, but while I was making the stuffing she was…hesitant is putting it nicely.
So, I baked the squash, made the stuffing, filled the squash and popped it in the oven. 15 minutes later Z says “Mommy what is that AMAZING smell?” I told her it was her squash, stuffed (mind you, I had just made her dinner as she was adamant that she wasn’t going to eat this dinner and I was not going to fight that battle) she pushed her plate aside and said she would wait.
And you know what, she didn’t love it. But, she tried it. And right now, in the midst of the fours (which is just SO much worse than twos-but for different reasons) I consider it such a big win. Z went through a phase where we were resorting back to kid food basics, with some really interesting palate enticers on the side (pierogies and sauerkraut anyone?) and I was starting to think it would never end. It seems like we might be entering a more adventurous food phase, and I’m excited!
Back to the squash, it was fabulous and paired nicely with a fruity red and an herby salad.
This is what you need;
1 large acorn squash, halved and scooped
1 sandwich bun or 2 pieces of bread
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 small pear, diced
1/3 cup vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
1 tea fresh rosemary, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F
Line a pie dish with tinfoil, place halved and scooped squash facing up and lightly salt and pepper. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until you can stick a knife into the squash flesh and it cuts right through.
While squash is baking make stuffing. In a medium bowl add bread, torn into small pieces. Next wet with stock and fold in all other ingredients. When squash is done baking, tightly pack stuffing and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cheese should be nice and bubbly and bread should be browned.
This recipe is simple, vegetarian and can be adopted to be vegan and/or gluten free.