Twice-baked Winter Squash

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Twice-baked Winter Squash

Like many of Dan’s recipes, it may start as a recipe that he has found online but he adds his own spin virtually making the recipe his own.
Course Main Dish
Keyword Recipe
Servings 2 people
Author Daniel

Ingredients

  • 1 whole squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, etc.) halved
  • 1/2 lb Italian pork sausage, remove casing if in links or chicken sausage
  • 1/2 cup Red onion chopped
  • 2 bulbs shallots chopped
  • 1 cup Kale (or spinach or Swiss chard, or combination) coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese shredded, or Pecorino Romagna
  • 4 T Cooking oil (olive oil vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.) divided
  • 2 T Butter unsalted softened, divided
  • 1 t Rosemary double or more for fresh herbs
  • 1 t Sage double or more for fresh herbs
  • 1 t french thyme double or more for fresh herbs
  • 1 T Anise seeds crushed or ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T Smoked paprika Spanish

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Halve the squash. Remove seeds with a spoon. Butter the cut face and interior with half the butter. Place cut side down on parchment paper in a cookie sheet or similar oven-proof pan. Place in oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash begins to soften. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • 2. If including Pearled barley, heat chicken stock in sauce pan, add barley and cook until stock is absorbed—20-30 minutes.
  • 3. Brown sausage in small amount of cooking oil 7-12 minutes. Add ½ of herbs and salt and pepper to sausage as it browns.
  • 4. Toast Pine nuts on small oven-proof pan—until slightly browned and fragrant.
  • 5. Saute onions, bell peppers in cooking oil in saute pan until onion is translucent—5-10 minutes. Saute garlic in same pan last 2 minutes until fragrant. Do not brown.
  • 6. Saute mushrooms, if using, 7-10 minutes in butter.
  • 7. Scoop squash halves enough to leave some structure to the squash skins—squash shell walls should be ½ inch or more. Put squash into a large bowl and mix well with all other ingredients, including ½ of the cheese.
  • 8. Scoop squash mixture as possible into squash shells and mound above the tops of the shells. Spread remaining cheese over the top of the mounded mixture.
  • 9. Return stuffed squash to oven. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese topping is melted and beginning to brown.
  • 10. Finish with chopped parsley, if using, and/or sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serve hot.

Notes

Optional ingredients
  • ½ C Pearled barley
  • ½ C Chicken stock or broth
  • ¼ C Red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ C Currents
  • 1 Tsp Cumin, crushed or ground
  • ¼ C Fresh parsley, chopped

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