A few weeks ago we put on a "practice Thanksgiving." After all, who says roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and gravy should be made once a year? I think not. And what if you want to test out a new dish without the pressure of the big day, or celebrate with someone who won't be around for the actual holiday.
So practice Thanksgiving it was, only on a Thursday where I actually had to work all day and come home and host 8 for dinner. Daunting to some, but somewhat thrilling to my inner-entertainer. I put pumpkins and squash all around the house and decorated the table with kale and sorghum and sparkleberry.
A few weeks later, and I decided those acorn squash should go from decoration to dinner. I hollowed them out and roasted them filled with what I had on hand- bulgur, cranberries, pecans, and cinnamon. A friend commented that my recipe sounded Lebanese, after all they were vegetables stuffed with bulgur. And though I pointed out that cranberries and pecans are about as American as you get, perhaps she's right in that I've cooked so much Middle Eastern food now, it's sort of stuck in my bloodstream, no matter what ingredients you use.
These are lovely single-serving one meal deals, and as you eat them you scoop the squash flesh into the bulgur mixture, mixing it all together. If you don't have bulgur, I imagine cooked wild rice would be excellent as well.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberries and Pecans
Obviously you can increase this number to however many you'd like to serve. Be sure to use small acorn squash so that it's a true one serving size.
2 small acorn squash, tops removed and centers hollowed out
best quality olive oil
2/3 cup bulgur
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place bulgur and cranberries in a bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let sit 15 minutes, or until fluffed.
2. Meanwhile, toast the pecans.
3. Rub the insides of the squash with olive oil and rub in some salt.
4. Combine the bulgur, cinnamon, pecans, parsley, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt to taste.
5. Stuff the squash and place the lids back on top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the squash or completely soft when tested with a knife and they appear slightly collapsed. Let cool slightly before serving.