Heavenly Recipe from the Mediterranean
This is such a satisfying meal with its warm comforting ingredients, beautiful colors and textures, and Mediterranean flair- squash, chard, beans, olives, tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and rice (one of my substitutions.) Serve with mixed green salad with radicchio and red onion and crisp white wine. Heavenly.
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chard & White Beans
Since I’m a top-of-the-stove lover, I modified this recipe in a few ways.
- Instead of using a microwave (which I don’t own), I peeled the squash, cut it into chucks and steamed it. This was a time saver.
- Instead of chard, I used kale. (I love both but could only find kale that day.)
- Instead of white beans, I used red kidney beans for the additional color.
- Instead of bread crumbs, I made brown basmati rice, which is a healthier choice.
If you make these changes, then skip Step #1 and begin cooking the rice as you peel the squash. As you prepare Step #2, steam the squash until soft but not too much. Skip Step #3. Then simply combine the parmesan cheese with the rice and add it to the kale mixture. Finally just add the squash. It’s a work of art!
- 2 medium acorn squash, halved (see Tip) and seeded
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 8 cups chopped chard leaves, (about 1 large bunch chard)
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, (see Note)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cut a small slice off the bottom of each squash half so it rests flat. Brush the insides with 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar-size) microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High until the squash is fork-tender, about 12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in water, tomato paste and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in chard, cover and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in white beans and olives; cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
3. Position rack in center of oven; preheat broiler.
4. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Fill each squash half with about 1 cup of the chard mixture. Place in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil in the center of the oven until the breadcrumbs are browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
Make it easier to cut a pumpkin, acorn squash or other winter squash: pierce in several places with a fork; microwave on High for 45 to 60 seconds. Use a large sharp knife to cut in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon.
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