Wild Rice & Pear Stuffed Acorn Squash A hearty and flavourful vegan and gluten-free main course so filling you won’t miss the turkey. Serves six to eight people. INGREDIENTS
P R E PA R AT I O N
4 acorn squashes 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper, sprinkled 1 cup brown and wild rice mix ¼ cup wild rice ½ cup red lentils 2 ¼ cups vegetable broth 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 rib celery, chopped ½ large white onion, chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 large, firm Bartlett pear, unpeeled, chopped finely ¼ cup dried cherries, chopped ½ cup hazelnuts (or pecans), chopped 2 - 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme) Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. 2. Cut acorn squashes in half width wise and scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy bits. Drizzle the first amount of olive oil over the flesh side of the squash halves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash flesh side down on the baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350°F. 3. Meanwhile prepare the stuffing mixture by first rinsing the rice and lentils using a sieve to remove any extra starch and any foreign materials. In a large saucepan heat vegetable broth to a boil over medium-high heat and add the rice and red lentils. Let boil, uncovered, until the liquid is just barely below the rice, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer until all liquid is absorbed. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes in total. 4. While the rice is boiling, heat the second amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, garlic and celery until they begin to soften ¬ about 6 to 8 minutes. Add in pear, dried cherries and hazelnuts. Sauté an additional 3 minutes. Do not let the pear get too soft. Add thyme, salt and pepper. 5. Add the cooked rice and lentil mixture to the skillet. Toss to combine all the flavors. 6. Stuff the cooked squash halves evenly with the mixture. Place in a large baking dish, cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Serve hot with your favourite side dishes.