Make This Meat-Free Squash Dish For Christmas

November 8, 2023

Acorn Squash is a flavour and nutrition packed winter squash which Railtown Catering turns into a delicious meat-free holiday centrepiece by expertly roasting and serving it with wild rice, roasted mushrooms, and sauteed seasonal vegetables. This recipe is a year-round home staple and a treasured add-on for Railtown Catering’s famous take-home holiday dinner packages. —Vita Daily

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Wild Rice, Roasted Mushrooms, Sauteed Winter Greens and Red Wine Braised Cabbage

  • 1 acorn squash, split in half lengthwise, seeds and stringy bits removed
  • pinch of ground nutmeg and cinnamon mixed together  
  • pinch of salt and pepper 
  • zest from 1 orange 
  • 2 cups wild rice stuffing 
  • 1 cup braised purple cabbage 
  • 1 cup sauteed winter greens
  • 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup wild rice 
  • 1 cup cremini mushroom cut into nice wedges 
  • 2 tbsp canola oil 
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion 
  • ¼ cup diced celery 
  • 1 tsp minced garlic 
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chopped purple cabbage
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup sliced shallots
  • ¼ cup red wine (dry medium to full body)
  • splash of red wine vinegar 
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2-3 cups hearty winter greens (green kale or swiss chard), washed and torn into rustic pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • pinch of chili flakes 
  • pinch of salt 

Prepare the squash: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the squash halves on a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil and season with salt, pepper and spice mixture.  Roast until caramelized and fork tender. Gently scoop out the center while leaving a thin layer of meat at the bottom so you don’t break the skin when stuffing the squash.  Leave the rim of the squash intact for a nicer presentation. Using a spoon, mash the removed squash meat with the orange zest and pinch of salt and set aside. Make the stuffing: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the rice and gently simmer until tender. Strain and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a medium frying pan and roast the cremini mushrooms over medium high heat until lightly caramelized and cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside on a plate.  Don’t wash the pan! Add the remaining 1 tbsp canola oil to the pan used to roast the mushrooms. Over medium heat, saute the onion, celery and garlic until tender.  Add the chopped thyme and cook for another minute. Add in the roasted mushrooms, cooked wild rice, dried cranberries, oil and vinegar.  Stir to combine and adjust seasoning as desired. Braise the cabbage: Add the butter to a sauce pot and cook over medium heat until the butter turns light golden brown.  Don’t look away, this happens fast! Add the shallots and a pinch of salt, cook for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red wine, cover and cook until tender. Remove the lid, add the vinegar and sugar and cook until the vinegar has evaporated. Season to taste with sugar and vinegar until you have a nice balance of sweet and sour. Saute the greens: Warm the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute being careful not to brown. Add the chili flakes and cook for 20 seconds. Add the greens with a good pinch of salt, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender but still vibrant green.  Feel free to add a splash of water if the pan looks dry. To finish: Make sure all components are warm. It helps to hold everything in a 225f oven while preparing to plate everything. Spoon the rice filling into the center of the squash. Place the mashed squash in the center of a dinner plate. Make a nice pile of braised cabbage on one side of the mashed squash and place the sauteed greens on the other side. Place the stuffed squash directly onto the mashed squash using the mash to hold the roasted squash in place. Sprinkle the toasted pumpkin seeds over top and serve immediately. Serves 2.


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