Golden Stuffed Squash
Nut-free option? Omit the pine nuts and replace with a handful or two of frozen peas or fresh soya beans (edamame)
If you're in a hurry, try sachets of pre-cooked mixed grains instead of cooking it from scratch. Merchant Gourmet's Grains, Red Rice & Quinoa or similar would work well. Just reduce the amount of stock, reduce the cooking time to around 5-10 minutes frying up the onions etc - then add the grains last to warm through with the rest of the mixture.
- 2 small squashes (eg acorn, kabocha or small butternut )
- 3 cloves garlic
- Low-cal oil spray
- 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 10g/⅓3 oz dried mushrooms (porcini or mixed), eg Merchant Gourmet
- 90g uncooked wholegrains: Eg 70g/2½ oz long grain rice + 20g/¾ oz quick-cook wild rice. Alternatively, use a pre-cooked mixture, as above
- 500ml/18fl oz vegetable stock (reduce this if using the pre-cooked grain option - you'll only need a couple of splashes of stock to heat through the wholegrains - about 60ml/¼ cup)
- ½ tsp chopped rosemary
- 2 tsp dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp pine nuts - omit these or replace with pumpkin or sunflowe seeds, depending on your allergy requirements
- 1 heaped tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
2. Cut the squashes in half, remove all seeds with a spoon, and lightly mist the squash with oil spray.
3. Quarter the garlic cloves. Place some in the hollows of each squash piece and dot the rest around the edges of each squash half.
4. Add the rosemary needles and season with a little salt and black pepper.
5. Place in a roasting dish and roast for 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft.
6. While the squashes roast, prepare the filling.
In a saucepan, sauté the onion in the oil spray or oil until translucent and add the wild rice and vegetable stock.
7. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Add the dried mushrooms, long grain rice, rosemary and dried cranberries.
9. Bring to the boil once more, then cover and simmer over a very low heat until the stock is absorbed and the rice is soft (about 20-25 minutes).
10. Meanwhile, make gravy, or a sauce such as Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and cook potatoes/other vegetables.
11. Once rice is cooked, stir in the pine nuts and chopped thyme.
12. Divide this filling between the four squash halves and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve hot with sauce or gravy.