Ah, autumn. How I love you with your fires in the fireplace, your scarves, your hot tea in the afternoons, and your assortment of squashes. Yes, squashes. I love squash. Well, I love winter squash. I’m still not too keen on the summer squash variety, but I’m working on it.
Today though, we’re talking about winter squash. Specifically, the delicata variety. Delicata squashes are instantly recognizable by their pale yellow skin and green striations. The taste is somewhere is mild, and like most winter squash, it is a bit sweet. Delicata squash is full of potassium, iron, Vitamins A and C.
Our go-to method of cooking delicata squash is just to slice it, remove the seeds, and brush with melted butter and a bit of brown sugar before roasting. This autumn though, we want to branch out. There were several mentions of stuffing delicata squash on Twitter last week so we went in search of a stuffed squash recipe. As luck would have it, we found one that called for all of the ingredients we had on hand! How could we refuse?
The original recipe is vegetarian and with a slight bit of adaptation, you could even make this dish vegan. You can get fresh white beans from Alm Hill Gardens or Alvarez Farms. Alm Hill’s beans are fresh, which means they don’t need soaking before cooking. It also means they only last about a week in the fridge. Alvarez’s beans are dried, so soak them overnight before cooking. To cook your beans, just place them in a pot of water and boil for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
- 2 medium Delicata squash
- Salt and pepper
- Lightly flavored oil of your choice
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 10 oz white beans, cooked
- 1 bunch of kale, destemmed and torn into chunks
- 1 Tbsp sage leaves, minced
- 4 Tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Prepare the Squash
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
- Brush your oil over the insides of the squash and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake in the oven until just tender (make sure they aren’t so soft they are falling apart).
During the last 15 minutes of cooking, assemble the filling.
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the kale.
- Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat back down to medium and add the white beans and sage.
- Season with salt and pepper and set aside until the squash is done.
Stuff the squash
- Remove the squash from the oven.
- Fill with the kale and white bean mixture.
- Mix the Parmesan and bread crumbs together and top the stuffed squash with the mixture.
- Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the Parmesan is melted and the stuffing is heated through.
- Serve and enjoy.
Notes: Wow. This was fantastic. You can eat the skin of delicata squash, so the entire dish is edible. Plus, the squash to filling ratio of this dish is perfection. This is a vegetarian dish, and can even be adapted to be vegan if you leave out the Parmesan cheese or substitute for a vegan cheese.
However, you can also take a step in the opposite direction (vegans, stop reading now) and cube some pancetta or guanciale, cook it for 10 minutes on low heat to render the fat and cook the meat, and then use that oil to cook your filling. Not only do you get the porky goodness of the Pancetta or guanciale, but you get the succulent pork fat as flavoring for the kale and beans. We chose this method and it was perfection in a dish.