Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without a side of squash or dressing, now would it? This holiday staple hybrid simplifies the menu without the expense of losing the beloved fall feast favorites. Prep-ahead tip: You can save time and stress in the kitchen by making the Maple Corn Bread and roasting the squash (refrigerate up to 2 days) in advance. Which means all you'll have to do on Thanksgiving Day is assemble and bake.
7 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed Maple Corn Bread
5 acorn squash (about 1 pound each)
4 cups boiling water, divided
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried currants
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Arrange corn bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until corn bread is toasted, stirring twice. Set aside.
Decrease oven temperature to 350°.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise, and discard the seeds and membranes. Place the squash, cut sides down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Coat the squash with cooking spray. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over squash. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove the squash from pan.
Place cranberries, currants, and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 5 minutes. Add celery, carrot, sage, and garlic; saute 3 minutes.
Combine toasted corn bread cubes, cranberry mixture, onion mixture, broth, and remaining ingredients in a bowl, tossing to coat.
Spoon about 1 1/2 cups dressing mixture into each squash half. Place the squash halves in pan, cut sides up.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the tip of a knife pierces squash easily.
My husband & I agree that this is really fabulous, but in part because instead of a relatively tasteless acorn squash, I used a bright orange kombucha squash from the farmer's market. I also roasted the squash a bit longer and did not use water--just oiled it, sprinkled it with garlic salt and put it face down on foil. I didn't find this dry at all, though one could always just add more chicken stock for extra moisture. I also soaked the dried fruit just five minutes; more might have leached out the flavor. So good! Served with some turkey breakfast links and braised greens.
I made this dish for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. Here's the link- http://whistlestopcooking.blogspot.com/2011/11/cooking-light-autumn-harvest.html
I thought it was a perfect Autumn Harvest dish ~ hearty and filling. . . but I confess, I missed the butter! I used cornbread stuffing and left out the currants. I'd make it again!
Agreed that it is labor intensive - but worth it! A wonderful blend of savory, spicy, and sweet. The corn bread stuffing was so good that the squash underneath almost felt like an afterthought - though still yummy. I would recommend adding another 15 or 20 minutes to the bake time, to make the squash more tender.
I'm not one to rate a lot of recipes, so just know I'm serious when I say this was dynomite. I did add some apple chicken sausage to the stuffing mixture, but think next time I will just serve the sausage on the side. The cornbread stuffing is a must, and along with the nuts and cranberries, really makes the dish something special. I really can't wait to make this again soon.