For some reason, I didn't eat much squash growing up. But as an adult, I've really grown to love them. First of all, they come in many shapes, colors, and sizes, which makes them fun to shop for. Second, they can be very pretty, even uncooked, just sitting on your kitchen counter. Third, they're very good for you. And fourth, I like the way they taste, which is the real dealbreaker in the Hungry Dog's kitchen.
We got two acorn squash recently and I spent a week or two mulling over what to do with them. I'm not sure if it's good or bad for squash to sit around, but that's what often happens to squash at my house. If I can't see any outward signs of deterioration, I assume it's ok to for them to hang around for a bit. I wonder if they get bitter as they get older? That's probably something I could research on the Interweb. But you know, I'm sick of researching stuff that way. I think too much of my life is spent Googling things I only have a middling interest in.
Back to the squash. Aren't they pretty? I like the little orange spots on the right one.
Squash are fine roasted and relatively plain. But I liked the idea of jazzing them up, taking them from a pleasant but unexciting side dish to a satisfying and striking main course. So, I decided to stuff them.
The first step was cutting them open, pulling out the seeds, and roasting them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. They're pretty on the inside, too.
Bob, who seems fearless when it comes to forging ahead without recipes, only armed with what he's got on hand and what he's in the mood to eat. I love that. So here's to you, Bob.
I made some pseudo-Mexican rice, with tomatoes, onion, garlic and chicken broth. Once the rice was done, I mixed in the diced-up sausages, parmesan, and chopped parsley and chives. Then I tucked the stuffing into the baked squash and sprinkled a little extra cheese on top.
This is what they looked like as they were about to go into the oven. Not bad, poor lighting aside.
Acorn squash would be delicious stuffed with any number of things: risotto, ratatouille, orzo, jambalaya. You could make the filling as simple or as complex as you like. Anything that provides deep flavor and heartiness would work well and elevate the humble, mild-mannered squash to main dish status.