Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash Recipe

Pecans bring out the nutty qualities of the rice in this classic dish.
November/December 2011
http://www.motherearthliving.com/Cooking-Methods/pecan-and-wild-rice-stuffed-squash-recipe.aspx



Photo By Caren Alpert/Courtesy Chronicle Books

The following is an excerpt from The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell (Chronicle Books, 2007). The excerpt is from Chapter 7: Whole Desserts. 

Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash
Serves 4 

These tiny, one-serving squashes are great containers for savory flavors. This classic dish is a great way to use wild rice, but buckwheat and quinoa would also be delicious. The nuts really bring out the nutty qualities in the rice.

2 small Sweet Dumpling squash or acorn squash, 6 inches or less in diameter
1/2 cup wild rice
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh sage
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, minced
1/2 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecan halves

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Oil 2 baking sheets. Cut each squash in half from the stem to the tip. Scoop out the seeds and place cut-side down on the baking sheets. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until easily pierced with a paring knife. Let cool. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F.

2. In a medium saucepan, cook the wild rice in the water, simmering until it is tender and starting to split. If there is any excess water, drain the rice in a strainer. Finely chop the sage and parsley. In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the celery, onion, and sage over medium heat until just softened. Stir in the parsley, marjoram, pepper, nutmeg, and salt, and take the pan off the heat.

3. When the squash halves are cool, use a spoon to scoop the flesh out, leaving a bit behind to keep the skins from tearing. In a large bowl, mash the flesh coarsely and reserve. Select 16 intact pecan halves for garnish, then use a food processor to grind the remaining pecans to powder. Add the ground pecans, the sautéed mixture, and the wild rice to the squash in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Stuff the mixture into the squash shells and top with the reserved pecan halves. Place in a casserole or baking dish large enough to hold all of the squash halves. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops feel firm to the touch.

For more whole grains recipes, read the original article, "The Whole Grains Guide."