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by Mario Batali
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Here's on of my all-time favorite ways to incorporate acorn squash into a quick dinner before spring is finally in the air. This year, it couldn't come any quicker for those of us in New York City!
Acorn squash is distinctive for its longitudinal ridges and sweet, yellow-orange flesh. A sturdy, sharp knife is essential to slice the squash in half before removing its fibers. Very carefully follow a ridge from stem end to the point rather than slicing across the diameter. I like to save the seeds to toast for snacking, just as you would pumpkin seeds.
This recipe for stuffed acorn squash is as simple as it gets: breadcrumbs for texture, greens for some freshness and Parmigiano-Reggiano for a true Italian touch. It's the perfect farewell dish to winter.
[ Check out another Mario Batali favorite: Risotto with Acorn Squash - Risotto Colla Zucca ]
Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe Ingredients
Makes 12 Servings
3 medium acorn squash
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped scallions (2 bunches; whites and about 2 inches of the greens)
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1/2 large bunch kale, leaves chopped into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons (about 4 cups)
1/2 large bunch chicory, leaves chopped into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe Steps
Cut each acorn squash into quarters and remove the seeds. Cut a small slice off the backside of each squash quarter so it rests flat. Season the squash with salt and pepper. Place the squash pieces on a cookie sheet, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the oil, and bake for 45 minutes, until tender.
While the squash is baking, heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the scallions and garlic. Add the greens and stir well. Then cover the pot and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the cover and cook until the mixture is nearly dry, 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, uncovered, for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Preheat the broiler.
Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano in a small bowl. Divide the greens mixture among the squash quarters, and top them generously with the breadcrumb mixture, patting gently so that it adheres. Broil the squash until the breadcrumbs are browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Stuffed Acorn Squash, Vegetarian Side Dish
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"Stuffed Acorn Squash"
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