Our root cellar is filled with colorful squash which we have been enjoying all winter long. And by root cellar, I mean the cement slab of our barn. Everything is packed and labeled in banana boxes and nestled in sawdust. We don’t have a basement, therefore the barn floor is our next best alternative. If a box rests directly on the slab, it’s contents won’t freeze until mid-January when even the days don’t get above freezing. Anywhere else in the barn and it’s hard as a rock.
This recipe was one of those that got created with what happened to be in the fridge at the time.
Acorn Squash with Wild Rice, Pear and Cranberry Stuffing
If you can’t find a six rice blend, use a wild rice blend instead. I found the six-rice blend, sold by the pound, at our local co-op and it’s wonderful in this recipe. You could also double or triple this recipe as a stuffing for turkey or chicken.
2 acorn squashes, cut in half and seeded
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
Pinch of salt and fresh black pepper
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups six rice or wild rice blend
1/2 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the onions, celery and garlic. Add the salt and pepper. When they are translucent, add the pear and cranberries. Sauté for a minute or two and add the rice, white wine and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for 50 minutes or until all grains are tender. While the rice is cooking, make sure the acorn squashes will sit upright with the inside facing up like a bowl. If they don’t carefully trim a little off the bottom until they will sit upright without assistance. Liberally salt the inside and steam the squash face down for approximately 20 minutes. It’s okay if these squashes are directly in water as they are very sturdy and it won’t affect them in the least. You want the flesh to be fairly tender, but not have the squash falling apart. When the rice is finished, fill the squash and bake for another 30 minutes covered with tin foil. Serve immediately.