For the last few days I’ve been glued to my computer. Every year, I make calendars from my travels near and far for friends and family. It’s something I love doing despite all the time it takes to sort through a year’s worth of photographs, uploading them and creating a calendar for each person on my list. Each calendar is unique, just like each of the recipients.
Anyway, with all this creativity came eating leftovers heated up in the microwave, when what I really wanted was a helping of this jeweled squash I made last week! This was absolutely sublime!!!
I roasted a butternut squash until almost cooked through, then made a filling using earthy Forbidden Black Rice, sweet-tart dried cranberries, garbanzo beans, kale and Black Garlic. If you can’t get Black Garlic, use regular or roasted garlic instead and perhaps a splash of good quality balsamic vinegar. Yum! That’s all I can say!
This dish will definitely show up regularly in our house from now on. I might use the small Delicata squashes if I want individual servings for dinner guests. The black rice was delicious, but any kind of rice, if cooked firm, or other grain would work. Other greens would work well also, but I like how the kale held up in color and texture, especially when reheating individual portions. Once the squash is stuffed, you can wrap it and bake it the next day! I did just that, and it worked out really well.
What’s not to like! It’s vegan, gluten free (if rice or quinoa is used), nutritious, delicious and looks gorgeous on a serving platter!
Especially during the holiday season!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
- olive oil
- 2 to 3 cups cooked Forbidden Rice (the rice cooker worked well on the mixed rice setting)
- water for the rice
- 1 large bunch of kale, chopped and lightly steamed
- 1/2 a head of Black Garlic
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- a little smoked paprika
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained well
- 1/2 cup of dried chopped cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Cook the rice according to package directions. I generally like rice on the firmer side and use 1 cup grain to 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
Clean the kale, chop it and steam with a little salt (helps with the color) until just wilted.
Place the cut squash cut-side down on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet and bake until almost tender, about 45 minutes.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving the bottom slightly thicker than the sides.
Keep the flesh and make a soup with it!
Heat a little olive oil in a wide pan.
Sauté the onion with a pinch of salt on medium-high heat until it’s getting colored.
Add the finely minced black garlic and cook a few more minutes.
Next, add the garbanzo beans and smoked paprika.
Sauté until everything is fragrant and delicious.
Season with a sprinkle of salt and some black pepper.
Turn off the heat and add the cooked rice, steamed kale and dried cranberries.
Mix well but gently. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Stuff this mixture into the hollowed-out squash halves.
You can really pack it in and make a mound on top.
Sprinkle with a little bit more smoked paprika and bake in the oven until piping hot!
Let the squash rest for a few minutes before cutting it.