Wild rice makes a perfect stuffing. This stuffing is enhanced with pecan pieces and dried red cherries.
- 1/2 Cup Wild Rice
- 2 Cups Water
- 3 Medium Acorn Squash
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted, divided in three portions; 2 Tbsp, 1Tbsp, and 1 Tbsp
- 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, divided into 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp portions
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper, divided in two 1/4 tsp portions
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Shallot, finely chopped
- 2 Celery Stalks, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves, minced
- 3/4 Cup Pecan Pieces, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Dried Tart Cherries
- Preheat Oven to 450°F
- In a small sauce pan, add 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup wild rice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed the water.
- Remove stems from the squash. Slice two small pieces off opposite sides of each of the squash so that each side has a flat spot to keep them from rolling. Cut each of the squash in half from north to south poles while paying attention that your flat sides are on the west and east sides. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits from each squash half.
- Place the squash open-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush 2 Tbsp melted butter inside each the squash halves. Drizzle with maple syrup. Season 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
- Roast in oven until just fork tender, about 25 minutes.
- In a small skillet, toast pecans over medium heat. Keep them moving. Once you smell the nuts, see wisps of smoke, and hear a bit of crackling, they are ready. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place 1 tbsp melted butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter becomes foamy, add onion. shallot, celery, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir until vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Add thyme and cook an additional minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice, pecans, and cherries.
- Divide the filling among the squash halves and drizzle with the remaining butter. Return to the oven. Roast until squash is completely tender, edges have begun to brown, and the filling is heated through., 20-25 minutes.
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