I’m having a field day with fall food lately, as if you couldn’t tell. It’s absolutely my favorite food season. All the deep oranges and greens – the food looks almost too gorgeous to eat! This stuffed squash is substantial yet not heavy, thanks to the light and crunchy quinoa. This tiny grain provides complete protein – serve some sautéed kale or Swiss chard on the side, and you’ve got the perfect meal for a cool autumn evening. If you have fig balsamic vinegar, try drizzling a very small amount on top – it’s delicious. Or consider adding pomegranate seeds at the end of the cooking time, in place of the currants. I haven’t tried that, but if you do, please report back!
Stuffed Kabocha With Quinoa and Chickpeas [Vegan]
- 4 kabocha squash, halved horizontally, seeded (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts
- 2 cups red quinoa, rinsed thoroughly if not using the no-rinse variety
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus additional for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons currants
- Heat the oven to 375°F.
- Rub the cut edges of the squash with a teaspoon of olive oil and place on a baking sheet (or two, as necessary), cut-side down. Cover tightly with foil and roast until very tender, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the sherry and cook for another minute. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and quinoa is just tender. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Turn the squash halves over and fill the cavities generously with the quinoa mixture. Return to the oven, cover lightly with foil and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and serve.
Slice a bit off the rounded bottom of each squash half to create a small flat surface (about 1 inch in diameter) and it will sit in the pan without wobbling.