This time of year, squash is abundantly available. Here is a recipe that brings Italian flavors together in a dish that is mouth-watering, nutritious, and stunning. It is gluten free, dairy free, and egg free which makes it versatile for many diets.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- ¼ c sundried tomatoes diced
- ¼ c purple onion diced
- ¼ c. diced zucchini
- 2 cups spinach
- ½ c roasted pine nuts (or the nut of your choosing)
- 1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
- Fresh basil to taste
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, then arrange the halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Once you put the squash in the oven, cook your wild rice. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup wild rice, 3 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until the rice is tender and the kernels pop open. Depending on how the rice was cured and how old it is, it will take 45 to 60 minutes.
You can buy roasted pine nuts or do it yourself. While the squash is cooking prepare your pine nuts for roasting. Scatter the nuts evenly on an ungreased baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake 5-10 minutes until they smell fragrant and are golden brown. Remove and add to your sautéed vegetables when ready.
When the squash is nearly done cooking, sauté the onion, zucchini, spinach and sundried tomatoes in a Tbsp of olive oil. Then add the wild rice and nuts to create your stuffing.
Put your cooked squash in a 9×13 baking pan and scoop out the cooked squash leaving ½ -3/4 inches around the bottom. Add the squash you removed to your stuffing (you might have more than you need for the stuffing). Fill your squash boats with stuffing and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place in the oven at 375 and bake for 10-15 minutes to warm through.
When you take them out of the oven garnish with fresh basil before you serve. Godere! (Italian for enjoy with great pleasure)