Stuffed Acorn Squash
Even with its new redesign, the DeKalb Produce Market continues its small town feel like an old fashioned indoor farmer’s market. Keeping intact its older, roughly painted, well worn wooden slap-boards with the attached straight legs, the assorted shaped storage holders line down along the center and that of the partially windowed front walls looking out towards its namesake street, DeKalb Pike, or, as many refer, Route 202.
Piled high over the edges of the furthest flat board displays set broad varieties of potatoes, onions, and apples sectioned on the opposite side. The wooden bin of tomatoes with some basil have their own small square wooden flat, then, just between groupings of foil wrapped planters with herb edibles or seasonal plants host stacks of colorfully abundant squash, long, round, and every color, the choices are plentiful, and true to this family owned businesses age old motto, reasonably priced too.
With Acorn Squash a great deal at the DeKalb Produce Market a short while back, I couldn’t resist these brightly mixed green and orange speckled cuties that seemed perfect for today’s recipe, Stuffed Acorn Squash.
One of the big changes in the redesign at DeKalb Produce Market includes the large open refrigerated vegetable cases running down the furthest back wall of the market. The cooler storage area seems to have enabled a more extensive fresh selection among basic vegetable provisions; bright colored assortments of kale, Swiss chard, collards, lettuces, carrots, mushroom varieties.
Having become one of my favorite stop-offs, the market is a great place to drop in and see what’s fresh or new, including the redesign of this longtime family owned business combining new touches and added flavors while still continuing its longtime simplicity of past. Finding plenty of options for creating a broad array of flavor packed vegetable dishes from the local DeKalb, also referred to as Route 202, even includes these brightly mixed green and orange speckled cuties, easily prepared whenever seasonally available for Stuffed Acorn Squash.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 acorn squash
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger
- 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water, if needed
- 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 2 1/2 cups cooked cous cous
- coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cut a small amount of skin off the bottoms of the acorn squash so they sit squarely
- Cut off the top part of each squash, about a half inch down, removing the woody stem, then brush exposed squash with a tablespoon of olive oil, place into a baking dish and cook for thirty minutes or longer, until a knife easily inserts through the squash meat
- Meanwhile, tumble cherry tomatoes onto a parchment lined baking sheet toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper set into oven, roast around thirty minutes or longer, until bursting point
- Sprinkle pine nuts with a pinch of salt, toast in a small, dry, nonstick pan on medium low heat for two minutes, or until golden brown, shaking pan constantly, remove from heat, set aside
- Prepare cous cous, fork through to separate grains, cover, set aside
- Toss drained and rinsed garbanzo beans with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper, set aside.
- Using a fork, mash the roasted tomatoes, set aside
- When acorn squash are cooked, remove from oven, let cool to touch, then using a sharp paring knife cut around the top, lifting up a circle of squash meat with seeds beneath. Remove the seeds with a spoon, then cut around the circumference removing a bit more of the squash from the sides all around still keeping the acorn shape intact, cut squash pieces into small cubes, set aside
- In an enameled cast iron, or medium large pot, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil on very, very low heat, scrape in the chopped onion, cook for ten minutes stirring every now and again, add in the garlic and ginger, stir and cook another two to three minutes, sprinkle in the five spice powder and turmeric, stir and cook another two minutes, slide in the mashed roasted cherry tomatoes, acorn squash pieces, and garbanzo beans, cooking until squash and beans are warmed throughout, approximately seven minutes, add in the pine nuts, stir in the cous cous, cook a couple more minutes, check seasoning adding a pinch or two of kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Fill each of the acorn squash cavities setting the stuffed squash on a parchment lined baking sheet, turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees and bake the squash another fifteen minutes. Top with fresh chopped cilantro