Pine nuts, allspice, and mint give this meat-free entree Middle Eastern flair, but the overall statement is “American harvest.” The entire dish can be prepared up to three hours ahead and reheated just before serving time.
- 4 small table queen or other acorn squash
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 3/4 Tbs. sea salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1-1/2 tsp. allspice, divided
- 1 red onion, cut in 1/4-inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place halves, cut side down, in a lightly greased, large baking dish. Bake for 35–45 minutes, until just tender. Turn cut side up, brush with olive oil, and divide vegetable broth among the eight cavities. Season tops with ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and ¼ tsp. allspice. Return squash to oven and bake until nicely browned on edges, another 5–10 minutes. Remove from oven and drain any residual broth into a small bowl. Set baking dish and bowl with broth aside.
- Place 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large pot over high heat and add onions. Stir until they begin to soften, and then reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, cranberries, and remaining salt, pepper, and allspice. If mixture becomes too dry, add spoonsful of reserved broth. Cook, stirring often, for another 5–10 minutes, until onions are tender. Add cooked quinoa and mix well. Remove from heat and stir in nuts, mint, parsley, and salt to taste.
- Divide mixture among squash. Sprinkle with reserved broth if filling looks dry. Return to oven and warm through. Serve.
PER SERVING: 299 cal, 10g fat (5g mono, 4g poly, 1g sat), 0mg chol, 7g protein, 43g carb, 6g fiber, 266mg sodium
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