I like to think I have an adventuresome palate, and I do, especially when it comes to unusual ethnic food. I am game for just about anything. For years I have put an entire category of food on my mundane, not so interested list. This included any kind of squash and sweet potatoes. I conquered sweet potatoes years ago when I discovered my preoccupation with Indian cuisine. But squash, well it has taken longer to enter that foray.
Every fall it is the same, I head to the grocery store, my list in hand, which includes items like, vegetable for dinner. I try hard not to over do the roasted vegetables, but they are so good. I sit and ponder in the produce section trying to conjure up an idea, something different. Inevitable I start looking at the squash. They are visually very appealing to me, so festive and colorful but I just can't get myself to go there. What on earth would I do with it and Tina just wouldn't enjoy it. We never had squash growing up, in fact we rarely had fresh produce at all. After all feeding a family of 8 was costly and time consuming. My mother relied on canned and frozen vegetable. I can honestly say the only time I ever get frozen vegetables is when I am in a real pinch for something like peas. This fall I find those squash just calling my name. So last week I gave it and got my first acorn squash. I quickly invited my friend Paula over for dinner, knowing she would appreciate what ever transpired.
I decided squash stuffed with wild rice would be perfect to pair with the rest of our dinner. It was so simple and so delicious that I know I will do this again and again. I simply cut the squash in half, lengthwise and removed the seeds. I put about a teaspoon of butter in each half, a scant tablespoon of brown sugar and a drizzle of my own honey and baked them, cut side up in a dish with about a half inch of water for an hour. When they were done, I stuffed them with wild rice that I gussied up with toasted pecans, dried cranberries and sauteed celery and onions and baked for another 15 minutes or so.
I could barely speak when I started eating it was so good. I can think of a million fillings and I can also imagine no filling at all. A whole new world has opened up for me. I won't be passing by those squash ever again. Next up some fun with Butternut!