I wanted to create a stuffed squash recipe as part of my holiday dish series leading up to Thanksgiving, which for us here in Canada falls on the second Monday in October. I knew I wanted to incorporate wild rice and make the rice filling appealing for my middle daughter, who doesn’t particularly care for squash. When it comes to our kids we don’t force them to eat anything, but we do ask them to at least try a bite or two before they decide that they don’t like something. We also try to present more than one food option for each meal, so that they have a choice.
I stopped by Hutten Family Farm at the Halifax Brewery Market and immediately gravitated towards their Long Island Cheese Squash. I asked if this squash would be a good pick for a stuffed recipe, and was told that it would be an excellent pick. I was happy to hear it, as this pumpkin shaped squash appeared to be the perfect size to feed our family of five. Depending on the size of your squash you may have some filling leftover. You can serve it as is directly out of the pan, or bake it in the oven along with the squash, although you would only want to bake it about 20 minutes, max.
Rich in beta-carotene, Vitamins A & C and potassium, this pumpkin squash is hearty enough to maintain its shape during baking. Ted Hutten pointed out another green squash that is apparently wonderful in soup, I might have to pick some up next week and see what I can come up with!
I have included a recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds below, I adapted this recipe from Oh She Glows and the seasoning is my own. Boiling for 10 minutes isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does make for nice, crispy pumpkin seeds. If you want to be extra fancy you can serve your squash with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top, however ours disappeared far too quickly to make it on the plate!
1 large pumpkin squash
2 cups wild rice blend (I like the one from Lundberg Family Farms)
3½ cups Basic Vegetable Broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
3 shallots, finely diced
1½ cup finely diced kohlrabi
1 cup diced fresh shiitake mushrooms
½ cup Basic Vegetable Broth
¾ cup toasted pecans
2 tsp summer savory
2 Tbsp fresh sage, thinly sliced
1 tsp smoked sea salt (regular works also)
Fresh cracked pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp olive oil
⅛ tsp garlic powder
Pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare wild rice blend according to package directions, using vegetable broth in lieu of water. I used Lundberg Wild Rice Blend and the ratio was 2 cups rice to 3½ cups broth.
While rice is cooking, warm 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute shallots and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi, mushrooms and additional vegetable broth. Stir to combine, cover and let braise for 10 minutes further. Add smoked sea salt, summer savory, fresh sage, and pepper, stirring to combine. Saute for 5 minutes further, test seasoning and adjust, then remove from heat.
Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, checking frequently to avoid burning.
Cut a hole around the stem of your pumpkin, large enough that you can easily reach your hand inside to scrape out seeds and pulp. I kept my hole as small as possible as the lid doesn’t cook as quickly as the rest of the squash and I wanted to make use of as much pumpkin as I could. That being said, you are welcome to cut a larger hole, as it makes it easier to scrape out the inside of the squash. Scoop seeds out of your squash, setting them aside. Whisk together 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt and rub this mix around the inside of your squash.
Add toasted pecans, dried cranberries and wild rice mixture to the kohlrabi mix and stir to combine. Stuff the squash with this mixture and bake in the oven, covered with the stem lid for 1½ – 2 hours, until the outside of the squash is soft when pricked with a knife. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, topping slices of squash with the rice stuffing.
Pumpkin seeds from one pumpkin
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp sea salt
Clean seeds and add to a pot with enough water to cover. Boil for 10 minutes, drain and lightly dry. Add olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt and stir to combine. Spread on a baking sheet and add to the 375° oven. Bake for 25 minutes and serve.