Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stuffed Spinach and Cheese Butternut Squash

Winter has come very early to southern Vermont. Not only did we have a white Thanksgiving to the tune of 13 inches of snow, we’ve had day upon day of ice. It seems like just yesterday that we were harvesting the last kale, chard, broccoli, and our meager two pumpkins from the garden.  Now it’s time to buy produce again, and we’re fortunate to have a number of local organic squash and root vegetables available. So when the weather looked like this for days upon days,

It seemed like a good excuse to make a hearty meal of stuffed butternut squash. 

This one was a pretty big fellow, and I erred by scooping out the squash too close to the edges, but this stuffed squash was a complete meal and a very satisfying one at that.

1 medium butternut squash
2 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery heart, finely chopped
½ Against The Grain Original Baguette, finely chopped
1 large egg
¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and cut the squash length-wise into two halves. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Leave the oven on.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery just until tender, about three minutes. Remove from the heat and add the baguette, tossing the mixture until the bread is coated. Set aside to cool.

When the squash is done and cooled enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl, leaving enough of a wall to support the filling. Set the squash boats back on the baking tray, open side up.

When the squash flesh is cooled, add the baguette mix, egg, cheese, and spinach to the squash flesh and blend thoroughly.

Spoon the filling into the two squash boats and sprinkle with a little shredded parmesan. Bake on a medium rack for approximately 30 to 35 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top becomes crusty.

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