food Program

Delicata Boats with Red Rice Stuffing

Contributed by Kim O'Donnel, from the Real Food Right Now series.

1 12 cups water
1 cup Bhutanese red rice (Plan B: long-grain Wehani; cooking times and liquid amounts may vary)
3 to 4 delicata squash (about 1 pound each)
18 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
14 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
14 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped (Other options: walnuts, almonds, or pecans)
13 cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
18 tsp ground chile pepper of choice

Note: There’s enough filling for eight servings (one squash half per person). For a party of six, you'll have more than a cup of remaining filling, which you can bring to the table.

Bring the water and the rice to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook at a simmer, 20 to 25 minutes. The rice will be done when water is absorbed and grains are tender to the bite.

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trim both ends of each squash and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and the attached pulp. Brush both sides of the squash with the olive oil, and season the inside to taste with salt and pepper.

Roast until easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes, and remove from the oven. Lower the oven heat to 350°F.

While the squash roasts, make the filling: Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl and add the 18 cup of olive oil, and the parsley, nuts, dried fruit, fennel seeds, ginger, citrus zest, and chile pepper. Stir until the rice is coated with the oil and the mixture is well mixed. Add the 14 teaspoon of salt, stir, taste, and reseason if necessary.

Fill each squash half with about 14 cup of the filling. Return to the oven and heat for about 15 minutes, until the rice is warmed through.

Serve immediately, or lower the oven temperature to 225°F, cover with foil, and hold until ready to serve.

Learn more about winter squash in Kim’s full post on Ecocentric Blog.