Stuffed Acorn Squash With Quinoa, Hazelnuts and Apples
This gluten-free, vegan recipe is a perfect entertaining entree for holiday celebrations.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- To roast the squash: cut the top stem off the squash and cut the squash in half. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into quarters. Place the squash, cut-side-down, in a roasting pan or dish. Add about ½-inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast at 425 degrees F for 35-45 minutes, until the flesh is tender enough to scoop out. When the squash is tender enough to scoop out the flesh with a spoon, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. While the squash roasts, you can make the quinoa filling.
- For the Quinoa Stuffing: Peel and mince the shallots Combine the shallot and quinoa in a medium pot. Cover and toast over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the quinoa starts to “pop”. Add 1 cup of water, cover, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. When the quinoa is tender, remove the lid and fluff. Let cool a few minutes in the pot. While the quinoa cooks, prepare the rest of the stuffing.
- To toast the hazelnuts: Place the hazelnuts in the 425 degrees F oven and toast 10-12 minutes, until slightly darkened. Remove from the oven and let cool. When the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, roll them in a clean kitchen towel. This will help the skins peel off. You want to get at least half of the skins off as the skin is bitter. Discard the skins. Roughly chop the hazelnuts.
- Core and dice the apple. Roughly chop the spinach and mint. In a large bowl, combine the apple with the cider vinegar. Stir well to coat the apple. This will help prevent the apple from browning. When the squash is cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out the flesh, keeping the shell intact.
- To assemble the stuffing: Combine the quinoa, hazelnuts, apple, mint, spinach, scooped-out squash, and salt. Stir well to combine. Scoop the stuffing into your squash shells. Place back in the baking dish. Cover and bake the squash at 350 for 5-7 minutes, just until warmed, and then serve. Bake the squash at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, just until warmed, and then serve.
- The quinoa stuffing is also great on its own, just as an elegant side dish. You can make this stuffed squash a day ahead and simply reheat in a covered baking dish (with a little water in the bottom of the dish) for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F.