Last summer, this blog passed the four year mark. That's a lot of recipes and restaurant reviews and pictures of my dinner.
Although I try to focus on new-to-the-blog ingredients and techniques, longtime readers might notice that I have a tendency to revisit certain themes. I have two versions of overnight oats, one with blueberries and one with gingerbread spices, plus a variation that uses yogurt instead of milk. As my weekends have gotten busier, and since I'm eating less meat these days, I have a slow cooker vegetarian version of pea soup in addition to my classic stove top recipe with ham. I now make mushroom lo mein, eschewing shrimp due to ethical concerns about the industry's labor practices. Things change over the course of four years, and my evolving recipes reflect that.
Which is why I'm posting my third stuffed acorn squash recipe. The first is a classic cornbread stuffing version from way back in 2012, when I cooked up a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast for my in-laws, and the second is a fancy Martha Stewart recipe with wheatberries and caramelized grapes (apparently I was feeling classy in 2013). To be honest, both of them require more of a time commitment than I've been willing to put forth lately. So I developed another stuffed acorn squash recipe, one that pairs the classic mushroom and sage flavor profile from the stuffing recipe with the whole grains from the Martha Steward recipe. I've kept things simple: you prepare the filling while the squash is roasting (which takes just over half an hour), scoop the filling into the baked squash, and then dinner is on the table. The result tastes far more complex than it actually is, with the subtle nuttiness of the farro playing off the earthy mushrooms and the sage livening up the roasted squash.
For those unfamiliar with farro, it's a dried whole grain related to common wheat. My grocery store carries the Bob's Red Mill brand in the natural foods section, and I've also found farro in bulk bins at co-ops and Whole Foods. If you can't track down farro, you could substitute wheatberries or barley, although keep in mind that the cooking time will be longer. Since I think the best possible way to eat mushrooms is sauteed in butter, that's how I prepared them, but you could certainly use olive oil instead to make this recipe vegan.
- 1 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and hollowed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup dry farro
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Brush the cut sides of the squash with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on prepared baking sheet and bake until squash is tender, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the farro, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until farro is chewy-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain farro of excess water if needed and return to saucepan.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and have given up their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir the cooked mushrooms into the prepared farro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the farro mixture into the cooked squash halves and serve.