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You may remember that a few weeks ago we went to a super cute pumpkin patch/apple farm (I put a bunch of photos on Steller, snapchat and instagram). We picked some apples and grabbed some pumpkins – although not nearly as many as I wanted to grab. I have never seen so many varieties of pumpkin! Since my husband and I are living in an apartment this year, I didn’t want to go too crazy with the pumpkins. No front porch to display them on. So, I stuck with a few small but adorable pumpkins. And also some squash. So much squash. I have already professed my love for spaghetti squash, as you know. But my love doesn’t stop there.
I also love a good stuffed squash in the fall. I usually make a stuffed acorn squash, which is super cute because it is sort of pumpkin-esqe, and also really tasty. But even though they are cute, they are on the large side and can be a little cumbersome when it comes to eating them. Which is why this year I decided to try stuffing some delicata squash. For some reason I had never heard of delicata squash until a year or two ago. I feel like they just hit the big time in food stardom, following kale and brussel sprouts.
And for good reason too. As squashes go, delicata are pretty awesome. They are super easy to cut, unlike some other squashes that we know (side eye, butternut), and you can even eat the skin! The first time I made these, I thought it would look cool to cut them in half crosswise and stuff the center (more like a stuffed pepper) – and although they were very aesthetically pleasing, the stuffing to squash ratio was off. Too much squash, not enough stuffing. So it is better to slice them lengthwise as shown in the photos and stuff them that way, more like a boat. Bonus – they are much easier to clean and stuff that way.
This stuffing is pretty simple, and if you have some leftover rice and sausage it is even easier. If you are planning on making some rice earlier in the week, just make a little extra, since this recipe only uses 1 cup of cooked rice. Otherwise, a fresh pot of rice is fine too.
After browning the sausage, remove it from the pan. Use the same pan to saute the onion and pepper until soft. Add the garlic and saute just until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze, scraping up the brown bits, or “fond” as they say in the culinary world. Does anyone else find the word “fond” to be, like, the most food snobbish word of all time? I don’t know why it bothers me so much. I complain about it every time they say it on Americas Test Kitchen, and my husband asks “Well, what should they call it?”. I don’t know. But “fond”….I feel like you need to be wearing a big white chefs hat and speak in a thick, fake French accent to be talking like that. Actually it doesn’t need to be a fake accent because the word is actually French, but you know what I mean. Just me?
The wine gives a really nice flavor, so I do encourage you to use it. But, if for some reason you don’t want to/can’t use wine, I would suggest using chicken broth. It won’t taste exactly the same, but it should be an OK sub. After deglazing the pan, add the sausage, rice, salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes to the pan. I didn’t suggest measurements for the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes because that is really going to depend on the sausage you use, and your taste preferences. Just add those to taste. Stir to combine and cook until heated through. Evenly divide the mixture between the squash. This was the perfect amount of stuffing for the amount of squash that I had. Lightly pack the stuffing into the indentation in the squash, and then mound any extra on top.
Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until the squash is tender. About 20 minutes before finished cooking, remove foil so the tops can brown up a bit. If you cook uncovered the whole time they will get a little too brown and crispy.
Stuffed Delicata Squash Boats
- 2 delicata squash
- 1/2 large onion I used a sweet onion
- 1/2 red bell pepper about 1/2 cup
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for brushing
- 1/2 pound chicken sausage
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- red pepper flakes optional, to taste
- kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Cut the squash in half length wise and scrape out seeds. Brush the cut side of the squash with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet or dish. Set aside.
- Brown the sausage, remove from pan. (depending on how lean your chicken sausage is, you may need to add some oil to the pan to keep it from sticking or burning. Mine did not need any oil. Just keep an eye on it).
- Heat olive oil, sauté onions and bell pepper with a little salt and pepper until soft and golden 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, being careful not to burn.
- Add wine to pan and deglaze, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom.
- After pan is deglazed, add sausage back into the pan, as well as the rice, oregano and red pepper flakes, kosher salt and pepper to taste ( how much you add will depend on how hot the sausage you use is, as well as how salty.
- Cook until everything is mixed and heated through.
- Divide the mixture between the squash.
- Cover the squash with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Stuffing adapted from Alton Brown
What is your favorite squash? And how do you feel about the word “fond” in the culinary world?