A Feast of Cranberries: Acorn Squash Stuffed with Cranberry Wild Rice

 Serves 4

The tart fruits lacing the rice come as a surprise. If you prefer them sweeter, read the instructions at the end before you prepare the dish.

• 1 cup uncooked wild rice
• 3 cups or more water
• 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
• 2 large acorn squash
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
• 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, preferably flat-leaf type
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh spearmint or other sweet mint, optional
• 1 teaspoon to 11/2 tablespoons sugar
• Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Rinse the rice, then simmer with the water in a large saucepan set over a moderate flame. Cook until tender–most of the grains will have split (about 40 to 60 ­minutes). Add extra water as needed to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan.

2. Sprinkle the cranberries over the rice and continue simmering until the berries pop, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain off any excess water after the rice is cooked, and set aside.

3. While the rice cooks, cut the squash into halves, slicing from tip to stem end. Scoop out and discard the seeds and center fibers. Rub the cavities with 1 tablespoon of the oil and set the halves (cut side up) in a microwave-proof dish. Microwave on high until the squash can barely be pierced with a fork (about 7 to 10 minutes). Remove and pierce the flesh of each piece several times with a fork, being careful not to puncture the skin.

4. Mix the remaining oil, nuts, herbs, and the smaller amount of sugar with the rice. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Spoon a fourth of this filling into each squash half. Return to the microwave and cook at 70 percent power until the filling is very hot, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove carefully to a platter and serve immediately.

5. Sweeter variation: Follow the recipe above, but rather than heating the berries with the cooked rice, simmer the berries in a separate saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and the larger amount of sugar until the berries pop; mash and mix in to the cooked rice.

Click here for the original article, A Feast of Cranberries: 5 Great Recipes.

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