This delicious and colorful vegan dish will have everyone giving thanks—to the chef!
Stuffing Stuffed Acorn Squash: Thanksgiving Dinner Side Dish
The pomegranate seeds are juicy little jewels in this Moroccan-inspired, highly nutritious side dish, adding tart little bursts of flavor that pair beautifully with the mellow, sweet spice of the stuffing.
- 4 acorn squash
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1-1⁄2 teaspoons each salt and freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts or coarsely chopped cashews
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1⁄2 cup currants
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate (about 1 cup), divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut squashes in half, scooping out the seeds, and brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with about 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place face down on a roasting pan, pouring water into the reservoir below the rack (you could also use a wire cooling rack in a large baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet to elevate the squash). Bake for 30–35 minutes, until tender.
While squash is baking, bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and bay leaves then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and discard bay leaves; set quinoa aside.
Heat a large dry skillet and toast the nuts, shaking pan frequently, until golden and fragrant. Remove nuts to let cool. Add remaining oil to the skillet, and over medium heat, sauté onion until soft and translucent. Add mushrooms, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Stir for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms have softened. Transfer mushroom mixture and quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add the nuts, lemon zest, currants, remaining salt and pepper, and a bit more than half the pomegranate seeds. Mix well and adjust seasonings.
Turn squashes over so they’re cut-side up and reposition on rack in roasting pan or baking dish. Scoop filling into cavities of each, piling it high. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with remaining pomegranate seeds.
Recipe excerpted from:
Text © Donna Kelly and Anne Tegtmeier
Photographs © Susan Barnson Hayward
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