Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples

There are many fabulous ways to stuff a squash - here's our first recipe of the season, which includes celery and apples, in abundance at the farm at present. 

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash (about 1 pound each), halved lengthwise and seeded                                               3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing                                                             salt and freshly ground pepper                                                                                                              3/4 cups diced celery                                                                                                                                    1 leek, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick                                                                1 apple, peeled and diced                                                                                                                                  1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme                                                                                                   approximately 3 cups 10 old sourdough or heavy bread—crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch dice                                                                                                                                               4 ounces vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts or raw pecans or walnuts                                                         1/4 cup chopped parsley                                                                                                                                     1/8 - 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk                                                                                                                      1/3 cup vegetable stock or broth

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season the cavities with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until just tender. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add the celery, leeks and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the apples and thyme and cook over moderately high heat until the apples just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the bread, chestnuts, parsley, cream and enough stock to moisten and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Turn the squash cut side up. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities and bake until the squash are tender and the stuffing is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve.