Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Farro, Apples, Chestnuts and Nutmeg

I'll admit it.

I enjoy watching reality cooking TV. Maybe a little bit too much. There's something totally entertaining about watching people cook, though Michael Pollan's new book "Cooked" is making me think more about the time we spend watching others cook compared to the time we spend actually cooking. More on that to come.

That said, recently I've felt like a contestant on Chopped.

McCormick is sponsoring a series of Go 4 Gourmet contests. They sent out boxes of ingredients around different themes, and they challenged us to create a recipe featuring those four ingredients.

Who could resist?

This week's challenge was called Artisanal Autumn, and bloggers were called to combine apples, grains, nuts and nutmeg to make one stunning dish.

Here's my contribution: roasted acorn squash stuffed with farro, apples, chestnuts and nutmeg. The apples are lightly sauteed with butter and just a hint of nutmeg.  The farro is cooked risotto style, so it's a bit creamy and helps hold everything together.

It's perfectly complex, with just the right balance of sweet and savory, soft and crunchy within every bite.

What dish would you create with those four ingredients? 

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Farro, Apples, Chestnuts and Nutmeg

Two acorn squashes, halved and seeded
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup farro
1 yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups vegetable broth

Two crisp apples, cubed
2 tablespoons butter.
5 ounces chestnuts, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush olive oil on each half of the acorn squash. Cover liberally with salt and pepper. Place face-down in a glass baking dish. Bake the acorn squash for 45 minutes, until a fork inserted into the flesh goes in smoothly.

While the acorn squash is roasting: Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring regularly until the onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Add the farro and saute for two minutes until lightly browned.

Add 1 cup of vegetable broth to the farro mixture, and stir until combined. Continue adding vegetable broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring regularly as you do with risotto, until the farro is softened but still has a slight bite. This will take between 25 and 35 minutes.

While the farro is nearly cooked: In a small saucepan, heat apples and butter for about two minutes, until just barely softened. Add chestnuts and nutmeg, and stir until well combined. Remove from the heat and stir into the farro mixture.

Remove the acorn squashes from the oven. Stuff generously with the farro mixture and return to the oven for about 10 minutes, until the farro mixture is hot.

Serve warm, with salt and pepper to taste.

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious. I haven't had stuffed squash yet this fall season. mmmmm