I love the combination of sweet and savory ingredients in this stuffing. Cooking the wild rice and roasting the squash take some time, but you can work on the components of this dish simultaneously. Any stuffing left over after you fill the squash halves makes a great cold lunch the next day!
- 1/2 cup wild rice, uncooked
- 1/3 cup raisins, preferably golden
- 2 acorn squash
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
- 1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored and diced
- 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Coarse salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cook the wild rice as directed on the package. While the rice is cooking, steep the raisins in a cup of boiling water to plump them; set aside. Next, cut each acorn squash in two and use a grapefruit spoon to remove and discard the seeds. Brush the cut sides with a tablespoon of olive oil and place them, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet and, when hot, toss in the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, for about two minutes, until fragrant. Lower the heat to medium, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the onions, and celery, and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the diced apple, sage, and thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes. Drain the raisins, reserving the liquid, and add them to the skillet. Drain and fluff the rice and add to the skillet. If the mixture is too dry, add some of the raisin liquid, a tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Take the squash out of the oven, carefully turn over the halves, and fill them with the rice mixture. Drizzle each half with the remaining olive oil and return to the oven for another 25 minutes or until a knife tip easily pierces the squash flesh.
Yields 4 side dishes or 2 main dish servings