Warm Winter Squash
Here's one of my favorite winter vegetable dishes. Very simple and tastes wonderful. Don't let the number of ingredients bother you. It's worth it.
Acorn Squash with Apples, Leeks, and Chestnuts Serves 4 for main course or 8 for side dish
4 acorn squash (about 1 pound each), halved lengthwise and seeded
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced celery
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
10 ounces day-old rustic rye bread—crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 6 cups)
7 ounces vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the open sides of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on two baking sheets and roast for about 25 minutes, until just tender.
The melt butter in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the celery, leeks and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the apples and thyme and cook over moderately high heat until the apples just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the bread, chestnuts, parsley, cream and stock and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash cut side up. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities and bake until the squash are tender and the stuffing is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Best served warm.