These knobbly little squash were rejects from a local seed grower however, I thought they had loads of personality. With a little love I transformed them into a lovely Autumn dinner. This summer has been HOT and we are all feeling rather exhausted around here. Salads have been our mainstay for months so it is rather nice to crank up the oven again and do some baking.
Stuffed veggies can be hard to master – matching stuffing ingredients can be tricky and many do turn out too bland. This can be especially true for squash that do have a very mild taste, the tastiest part being just underneath the skin, nice and nutty. This nuttiness marries well with caramelised onion and my stash of lovely local hazelnuts, some vinegar soaked currants give it a bit of zing.
These roasted squash are a complete meal rich in nutrients especially minerals, fibre, good fats and plant protein. If you want to enhance the good fats do not pre-roast the hazelnuts. As with all pumpkins and squash I really encourage you to use the seeds, roast these too and they are a lovely crunchy, earthy addition to a side of greens.
- 4 squash (mine were approx 450g each)
- 1.5 - 2 cups cooked quinoa (depends on the size of your squash)
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, raw or roasted
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1/4 cup of currants pre-soaked in vinegar 12 - 24 hours (I used homemade plum, I have also used apple cider)
- 2 medium to large red onions
- Zest of 1 small lemon or mandarin
- 2 handfuls of seasonal herbs, chopped (I used thyme and flat leaf parsley)
- Pre-heat oven to 170C (fan forced).
- Wash and pat dry the squash and then cut the tops off. Scoop out the loose flesh that contains the seeds. Reserve the seeds.
- Place the lower "cup" part of the squash bottom up on a baking tray and the top stem part upward. Scatter the seeds around the tray. Drizzle oilve oil over the squash and seeds and then massage in.
- Bake squash for 30-40 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is tender and the seeds are crunchy.
- Meanwhile prepare the stuffing.
- Gently heat 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a heavy based saucepan. Slice the onions into rings finely using a vegetable mandolin. Sautee in the oil until they are very soft, caramelised and their volume has halved in size.
- Drain the currants and reserve excess vinegar.
- In a bowl mix the quinoa, onion, hazelnuts, zest and herbs. Season to taste with natural salt and pepper, you can also add a few teaspoons of the leftover vinegar if you feel it needs a little more zing.
- Spoon the mixture into the squash cups and return to oven until warmed through.
- Serve with a side of greens or a bitter green salad. Sprinkle the roasted seeds over the salad.
These stuffed squash look rather gorgeous and are super easy to make, they are perfect for a dinner party. You can make them ahead and warm them gently for serving though I do suggest that you have a little spare stuffing to plump them up in case the stuffing settles down into the squash cup. They are lovely at room temperature too, I enjoyed one for lunch the next day – yum.
Enjoy your Autumn Squash with Hazelnuts, Caramelised Onion, Quinoa and Currants!