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Winter squash is a welcome sign of the changing season. Pie Pumpkins and Acorn Squash abound– we recently stuffed them with orzo and veggies for a perfectly portioned fall favorite. This simple recipe has a fun presentation making it ideal for regular weeknight supper or a dinner party show stopper. 

Create this meal by choosing medium winter squash, one per person. Cut, clean and prepare your squash by removing the top, strings and seeds with a spoon. Think about saving the seeds from your squash to toast with the seasoning of your choice for a Fall snack. You’ll want to retain the top to steam the grain while baking and final presentation. 

To stuff the squash, use any mix of grain and veggies readily available. For these stuffed squash I sautéed 1 medium yellow onion, 1 garden bell pepper, a handful of cherry tomatoes from the vine and half a package of bacon, chopped. Seasoned to taste– fresh salt, pepper and herbs de Provence. The great part about this meal is getting creative with ingredients. Use orzo, rice, barley, quinoa and even lentils to stuff. Here we used a box of rice and orzo mix from Trader Joe’s. Toward the end of cooking the vegetables– ideally just before deglazing the pan, mix in and brown your grain of choice. Stuff the prepared squash and fill with chicken or vegetable stock, water or another cooking liquid. With its top in place, bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Long enough for the flesh of the squash to become soft, penetrate with a for to test. 

Not just for individual consumption, serving grains and veggies in a large stuffed squash is a beautiful presentation for a dinner party or holiday like Thanksgiving. 

Keep it simple and healthy and you’re sure to savor this seasonal meal. Ours paired perfectly with a bottle (or 2) of 2014 Stags Leap Red Blend “The Investor”, a good conversation and a crisp Autumn evening. Enjoy!

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