Delicata Boats With Red Rice Stuffing
- Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1 1/2cup water
- 1cup Bhutanese red rice (Plan B: long-grain Wehani; cooking times and liquid amounts may vary)
- 3-4 delicata squash (about 1 pound each)
- 1/8cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1/4teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4cup unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped (Other options: walnuts, almonds, or pecans, also chopped)
- 1/3cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped
- 1teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- zest of 1⁄2 lemon or orange, plus 1 or 2 squeezes of the juice
- 1/8teaspoon ground chile pepper of choice
- Bring the water and the rice to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook at a simmer, 20 to 25 minutes. The rice will be done when water is absorbed and grains are tender to the bite. (Kept covered for 5 to 10 minutes, the rice will continue to cook.) Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Trim both ends of each squash and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and the attached pulp. Brush both sides of the squash with the olive oil, and season the inside to taste with salt and pepper.
- Roast until easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes, and remove from the oven. Lower the oven heat to 350°F.
- While the squash roasts, make the fi lling: Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl and add the 1⁄8 cup of olive oil, and the parsley, nuts, dried fruit, fennel seeds, ginger, citrus zest, and chile pepper. Stir until the rice is coated with the oil and the mixture is well mixed. Add the 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt, stir, taste, and reseason if necessary.
- Fill each squash half with about 1⁄4 cup of the fi lling. Return to the oven and heat for about 15 minutes, until the rice is warmed through. Serve immediately, or lower the oven temperature to 225°F, cover with foil, and hold until ready to serve.
Reprinted with permission from The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations: Year Round Vegetarian Feasts (You Can Really Sink Your teeth Into) by Kim O’Donnel.