Friday, October 30, 2009

delicata squash stuffed with kale and white beans

I don't know what it is about this week, but I'm feeling unusually uninspired. After fifteen minutes of staring at the produce in my fridge, and seconds before just resigning and ordering takeout, I took to Tastespotting, my go-to for these what-to-do moments. (I highly recommend it, for both dinner inspiration and a slow hour at work.) A quick search for kale did not disappoint, as I unearthed a recipe for delicata squash, roasted and stuffed with winter greens and white beans. It was perfect: I had all the ingredients on-hand; it was hearty (and enticingly-photographed), and perhaps most important at this particular moment, it was quick.

Because of its shape, delicata squash is really well-suited for stuffing. You wind up with these perfect little boats which stand up remarkably well to all sorts of fillings. While I stuck with the two ingredient combo, if you're up to it, you could add in chopped walnuts or dried cranberries for texture, and you could top it off with some toasted bread crumbs.

This recipe was adapted from this one over at Cook Local. It will feed two people (1/2 squash each) but easily doubles/triples for a family or crowd.

delicata squash stuffed with white beans and kale
1 medium delicata squash, halved and scooped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 can white beans (I used navy beans)
1 tbs sage (minced fresh or dried)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush insides of squash with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place face-down in a baking dish, and bake until just tender, about fifteen minutes. (The squash should be easily pierced by a fork, but not so well-done that it's falling out of the skin.)

While the squash is baking, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add the kale and stir well. Saute over medium-high heat until the kale has wilted (about 3 or 4 mintues). Reduce the heat and add the beans and sage. Stir well, and cook together for another few minutes while the flavors incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. (Stir in any additions at this point.)

When the kale is done, remove the squash from the oven, flip it over, and fill each half with the kale/white bean mixture. Top with bread crumbs, if using. Lightly brush with a little bit of oil, and bake altogether for another five minutes. Serve!

*Unlike butternut squashes and pumpkins, the skin of the delicata is very thin, and completely edible.

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