Butternut squash is not my favorite thing. It is a bit too bland yet at a bit too sweet at the same time. Buttery, yes. Nutty, not quite. Delicious? The jury is still out.
I really want to like it. I just can’t get on board with it quite as much as I would like. It is for precisely this reason I was excited to join in on the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash group.
If I forced myself to cook with it, I knew I would find at least one way besides butternut squash risotto to enjoy it.
And here that way is. Quinoa stuffed butternut squash.
It must be the quinoa that soaks up all that butternut squash sweetness. The flavor is still there, but it is not overpowering, so the red pepper and sage are able to shine through. In an effort of full disclosure, the cheese melted on top also helps the whole dish quite a bit. Melted cheese improving a recipe probably goes without saying…
Speaking of cheese, I think these ingredients would also make for a great pizza. Butternut squash, red pepper rings, and maybe some caramelized onions atop a sauce I’m not quite sure of yet. Perhaps an Alfredo-type sauce I once used in a butternut squash lasagna. Does anyone want to make this for me?
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup green onions
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup (uncooked) quinoa
- 1 tablespoon sage, chopped
- cheese of your choice for sprinkling; Gruyere is recommended
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
- Place the squash cut-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
- While the squash bakes, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the red pepper and green onions until softened, about five minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, quinoa, and sage and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for five additional minutes.
- When the baked squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out most of the pulp and place in a bowl. Leave about ¼ inch of squash along the shell to keep it intact enough to hold the filling.
- Mash the removed pulp with a fork, then stir in the cooked quinoa and red pepper mixture.
- Stuff all of this back into the two butternut squash shells and sprinkle with as much cheese as you would like.
- Return the now stuffed and cheese covered shells to the oven and broil for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
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