In this delicious recipe, sweet roasted squash encases a tart and savory wild rice filling. Dried cranberries along with apricots provide that burst of tartness and color to the mix. While at the same time savory feta cheese tones down the flavors a bit. Pecans also bring a slight nuttiness to the mix which gives us that feeling of fall. This recipe is hearty enough on its own or you can serve it alongside a fresh fall salad or roasted brussels sprouts.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pilaf
2 acorn squash halved and de seeded
¾ cup dry wild rice
¾ cup veggie broth
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped dried unsulfured apricots (they will look a bit brown)
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped pecans, roasted
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup feta cheese
Pre heat oven to 350
Roast squash upside down in a baking tray filled half way with water for about an hour.
While the squash is roasting, add rice to a large pot and add in veggie broth along with 1 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil, add in bay leaf and then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.
While the rice is cooking prepare the veggies and add oil to a skillet on medium heat. Cook the celery, onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add in herbs and continue to cook for another minute.
When the rice is done cooking remove the bay leaf and stir in the sautéed veggies and dried fruits. Add in another ½ cup water and cook until it is absorbed. Lastly add in roasted pecans, chickpeas and feta.
To assemble, turn squash over and stuff with the rice mixture, to the degree desired. Top with more feta and roasted pecans. Bake at 350F degrees for another 20 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and top with fresh chopped apple, feta and more pecans if desired. Enjoy!
*for a vegan option, omit the feta and just top it with freshly ground sea salt or crumbled, marinated tofu.