First off, look at these above squashes. Are they not the most beautiful things? I told you I was thinking of becoming a vegetarian and this dish could push me over to that side. If I could cook like this every night, I would be a happy gal.
I came across this recipe in the November issue of Whole Living magazine and I knew I had to make it. I already told you that I saw 5 amazing recipes in that issue that I was going to make. Well, I have made 3 of them so far, including this one. One was the chocolate bark, and the other was the green bean and shallot ravioli. Both recipes were easy to make and amazingly delicious, so I had high expectations for this dish. This dish definitely lived up to my expectations and then some. Give me some squash and quinoa and I am a happy girl!
This was a meal in itself. John and I were completely satisfied with 1 half squash filled with quinoa. Note: I used 1 acorn squash here, not 4 like the recipe asks, because it was just John and I eating it. I did make the full batch of quinoa though, as I’m going to eat it for lunch throughout the week. If you don’t want that much leftover quinoa on hand, then just halve the recipe.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios:
- 4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed – see my note above on quantities
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing on the squash
- coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
- 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
- optional – roasted sliced almonds – I threw these in as I love nuts
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
I love this quinoa below as you don’t have to rinse it. It’s carried in most grocery stores, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding it.
The recipe called for some roasted and salted pistachios, but I only had some raw ones on hand. I have never roasted pistachios before, so I looked up “how to roast pistachios” on the Internet, and it looked to be an ordeal. I decided to wing it and roast them the way I roast almonds. I just sautéed them in a pan over medium heat till they browned a bit. I also added a tiny splash of olive oil at the end and a pinch of salt. The pistachios tasted great this way. You may want to look up the correct way to roast pistachios though.
I like to chop up and prep all my ingredients ahead of time so I can just add them when needed. Below is my parsley and roasted pistachios. I’m going to chop them up next!
Cut your squash in half as shown below, the best knife to use is a large serrated knife. I’m going to warn you, cutting an acorn squash in half is HARD work. I felt like I was cutting through a log or something. I had to dig in with my knife and rotate the squash around. It was a pain, but I did it and it, and felt such a sense of accomplishment! After you cut it, you will want to scoop out the seeds. I used my handy dandy melon baller here. Next you will want brush each squash with olive oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Roast the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. You squash should look like the picture below when it is finished.
While the squash is cooking, bring the quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat to simmer, put your lid on the pot, and cook until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes (or follow directions on box). Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, parsley, feta, pistachios, sliced almonds (if using), red-wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill up your squash halves with the quinoa and dig in.
I’m having the leftover quinoa now for lunch with a popover as I write this post. I just reheated it, added some slivered almonds, and it tastes divine.
You could also cook up another squash and use your leftovers to fill that up as well. Qunioa is such a healthy and nutritious food that it will not go to waste. Enjoy!