These savoury stuffed squash are an easy accompaniment to a festive meal or casual weeknight dinner. The meaty mushrooms add beautiful texture to the stuffing, while the apples add a layer of tartness and bite.
- 4 small-medium sized acorn squash, seeded, cut in half lengthwise
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 8 oz (227 g) fresh mixed mushrooms (portabella, shiitake, oyster), coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, thinly diced
- 2 Ontario apples, peeled and finely diced• 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts, roughly chopped• 1 small loaf of day-old sourdough or French bread, cut into ¼ inch cubes (approximately 5 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Season the inside with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake about 30 minutes or until soft.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan heat olive oil. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add celery and continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Lower heat and add apples. Continue to cook until apples become tender, about 5 minutes. To the pan add butter, sage, and vegetable stock. Heat just until butter is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place chopped walnuts and diced bread in a large bowl. Pour warm vegetable stock mixture over bread. Using your hands toss the bread until it is well coated and most of stock is absorbed.
- Remove squash from oven and turn it cut side up. Divide the stuffing among each squash half; spoon the stuffing into the cavity of each squash until filled. Return to 350°F/175°C oven and bake until stuffing is golden brown, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Serve hot alongside a festive ham or weeknight roast chicken.
Tip: Use Ontario Idared, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, or Empire apples. More recipes featuring fresh local ingredients are available at mushrooms.ca. www.newscanada.com