I only began cooking delicata squash a couple of years ago after discovering this pretty little thing in Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine. Not only does it have those colorful stripes, it also tastes amazing, a cross between sweet potato and butternut squash…so you know I had to get some and give it a try.
After roasting them, I found it hard to scoop out the inside from the skin (when eating it alone it’s fine because the skin is edible, buy do buy organic whenever eating skin to avoid the pesticides). With some thought, I decided to show off it’s beautiful skin (and make this a simple dinner), so I stuffed it with some end-of-summer seasonal produce to compliment it’s sweet squash flavor.
A great way to begin the fall season, I think.
Everyone enjoyed dinner, even our friends who did not know they were testing out a new recipe! Those who eat at our house are kind of used to that. They do still come back, so that’s good, right?
So I added flavors that I thought would compliment the squash. To make it a bit heartier, I decided to add millet and wild rice (actually a grass, not a rice!). What I love about a meal like this is that if you don’t have time to prepare dinner then just mix up the filling the day before and stuff the baked squash before serving.
This recipe is for one of those hectic days and sure beats a frozen dinner. Lots of different flavors in here that work well together. The ingredient in here that pulls it all together, flavor-wise, is the tamarind paste! This stuff has that umami taste of sour, tangy, yet sweet. It is sooo good. A must-have in the kitchen. You can add it to soups, stews, salad dressings…
These looked so pretty and colorful plated, without any sides to take away from it’s moment. Your family (or guests) will think you whipped out some fancy culinary skills. We don’t need to tell them how easy this recipe really is. Enjoy!
3 delicata squash, cut in halves, seeded
3/4 cup millet (quinoa, or buckwheat also works well)
1/4 cup wild rice
2 1/4 cups water
1 small onion, diced
1 bunch tuscan kale, also known as dino kale, chopped
2 large swiss chard leaves and stem, trimmed
1 small radicchio, about 1/2 cup chopped
1 granny smith apple, diced (when buying organic keep the skin on for more fiber and nutrients)
3 tablespoons pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
2 handfuls dried cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
3 teaspoons tamarind paste (I use NEERA’S pure tamarind paste)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground curry
3 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Earth Balance Spread
Preheat the oven temperature to 400 degrees F
For the Delicata Squash:
Slice the squash in half, lengthwise.
Scoop out all the seeds with a spoon, set aside for roasting, if desired.
Roast halved squash face side down for 25-35 minutes, until it is soft to the touch. No salt or oil needed.
For the Millet/Wild Rice:
In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, add water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
When boiling, add millet/wild rice, cover and reduce to simmer.
Cook for 20-25 minutes until you see little holes and the water has absorbed.
Have your ingredients ready. In a large saute pan set on medium heat, add oil, and Earth balance spread.
When melted add diced onions.
Toss to coat onions well for a minute.
Then add the cinnamon stick, curry, cumin, cinnamon. Combine well.
Add diced apples, stir for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to soften.
Add kale, swiss chard and remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Toss well (for no mess I use tongs to turn over the big leafy greens). It will look like a huge amount in the pan but it will shrink within a minute.
Add radicchio, and cranberries. Combine well.
Cook until greens have softened but still have a little firmness, another minute.
Add tamarind paste, and pepitas. Mix well, then cook another minute until done.
Add the millet/wild rice mixture to the pan, mix.
Scoop stuffing mixture into the halved delicata squash shells.
Serve hot or warm.
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