1 acorn squash (1 ½ pounds) seeds removed
1 cup of cooked couscous or quinoa (to make gluten-free)
6 prunes, minced
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
Coarse salt and ground pepper
A few spoons of chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup red wine
1-2 tsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Cut the top off the squash and empty it out, putting the seeds aside. Cut a little off at the bottom so that the squash can stand on its own. Set aside.

3. In a bowl, combine couscous, prunes, walnuts, shallot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add a dash of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and cayenne. But your spices are up to you here!

4. Stuff your empty squash with the couscous mixture until it’s got a small mound at the top. Pour few tablespoons of chicken or vegetable broth on top of the couscous to keep it moist.

5. Add the sugar to the wine and mix to blend. Place the squash into a baking sheet and pour a cup of red wine into the pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife.

6. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise and serve with the wine reduction.

cumin and cayenne roasted squash seeds

But wait, wait!! I forgot about the best part!! So you clean out your squash, right? What do you do with the seeds? Why you roast them, of course! Slightly smaller than pumpkin seeds, acorn squash seeds are delicious roasted. So while we waited for our squash to finish its business in the oven and KS cast one too many a hungry looks in the direction of the kitchen, we snacked on these delicious seeds. Once you wash the seeds and clean it of the squash fibers, lay them out on a baking sheet and sprinkle a little salt, cumin and cayenne. Mix so the spices are blended over and roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes – taste to make sure they’re done and not burned – the color should change a bit to golden brown and the edges of the seeds will develop a slightly darker brown hue. Nothing from the squash goes to waste – and above all, you get a tasty snack while waiting for dinner!

© 2024 Olga Massov