Fall in Sconnie is my favorite. Not just because of the weather but the produce! Apples, squash, pumpkins, root vegetables, brussels sprouts, cranberries, etc. The cooler temps bring in more comforting foods...and fuzzy socks.
BrightFarms grows greens and herbs and have a farm located near me, here in the Midwest. They've given me a gift card to try their greens AND they're also giving one of YOU one too. Head on over to my social media pages to enter the GIVEAWAY!
I've created a recipe using the baby spinach from BrightFarms. These Autumn Stuffed Squash were the perfect way to welcome Fall's cooler temperatures we're having this week. The recipe utilizes apples we got last weekend in Richland Center, brussels sprouts from our local farmer's market, and squash from the farm stand in town.
There are so many benefits to eating locally and seasonally. When your foods travel shorter distances, there is less of an impact on the environment but there are also benefits to the food and your health. Local foods, that travel less or are less processed, are fresher tastier and more nutritious.
Roasting is one of my favorite cooking methods in general, but there's something extra amazing about it in the fall. The way it adds a little char and caramelization brings out such a rich flavor. That's just what I did to make these stuffed squash. I also love leaving the oven open as it cools down to heat the house since my husband won't let me turn the heat on yet.
Autumn Stuff Squash
Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 45-60 min
2 cups BrightFarms Baby Spinach
2 acorn squash, cut in 1/2
8 brussels sprouts, washed and quartered
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 apple, diced with skin on
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 cups bread (any kind), cubed and toasted
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 large fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste
1) Heat oven to 375
2) trim ends of squash so that when halved they lay flat in the pan; halve the squash and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place cut side down on roasting pan. Pour 1/4" water into the pan and loosely cover squash with aluminum foil. Bake for 30-50 min, depending on size of squash. Squash should be tender.
3) While squash is baking, trim brussels sprouts and quarter, place on roasting pan
4) leaving skin on apple, cut into slices and dice then place on roasting pan.
5) add 1/2 cup walnuts to the roasting pan with apples and brussels sprouts
6) mix 1 Tbsp maple syrup and 1 Tbsp olive oil and drizzle on brussels sprouts and apples, tossing until coated evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 min until caramelized. Set aside.
7) While other items are roasting, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and heat until aromatic. Add the 2 cups BrightFarms spinach and mix in with the onion and garlic. Add the bread crumbs and continue stirring. Add 1/2 c water until bread crumbs are moist but not soggy. Set aside.
8) When squash is cooled, flip over. Brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
9) Combine roasted apple, walnuts, and brussels sprouts to the spinach and breadcrumb mixture and mix until combined.
10) using 1 cup scoop, scoop filling into the open cavity of the squash and lightly press down. Repeat into remaining squash until filling is gone. Filling will be mounded.
11) Put stuffed squash back into the oven for 10-15 minutes to warm through (optional: add 1 small slice of butter onto top of filling before putting into oven, butter will melt onto the filling). Remove from oven and plate.
12) Garnish with chopped sage leaves and salt and pepper to taste