If you eat with your eyes first, prepare to bug out: Our Test Kitchen's stuffed acorn squash is as enticing and festive as it is delicious. A great vegetarian alternative for Thanksgiving, roast squash halves are filled with a substantial mix of hearty kasha, pine nuts and pomegranates, bound together with Greek yogurt and pomegranate molasses and brightened with lemon juice and fresh mint. In place of the kasha, you can substitute couscous or bulgur. Regardless, these beauties will have all eyes on them when they hit the table.
Kasha-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pomegranates, Pine Nuts and Mint
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 2 servings
Cook Time: 45 minutes
One 1¼-pound acorn squash (any color), halved and seeded
½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¾ cup water
½ cup kasha
½ teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt, divided
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ cup pomegranate seeds plus extra for serving
1. Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the squash halves cut side up on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil and honey over the squash halves and sprinkle with the salt. Roast until a fork easily slides into the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
2. While the squash roasts, make the kasha stuffing: On another rimmed baking sheet, add the pine nuts and toast in the oven until golden-brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a small plate.
3. In a medium saucepan set over high heat, add the water and bring to a boil. Add the kasha and ¼ teaspoon salt, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the kasha has absorbed the water and is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the kasha with a fork, then turn it out into a medium bowl.
4. While the kasha cooks, sprinkle the shallot with ¼ teaspoon salt, let the shallot sit for 5 minutes, then rinse under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve. In a small bowl, add the rinsed shallot and whisk in the yogurt, pomegranate molasses, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil and add the dressing to the kasha, stirring to combine. Add the mint leaves, the pomegranate seeds and the remaining pinch of salt and gently toss together.
5. Divide the filling between the two squash halves. Sprinkle with the remaining pomegranate seeds and serve. Calories per Serving: 447; Sodium: 567mg; Total Carbohydrate: 75g; Fiber: 12g; Fat: 16g