Wild Rice & Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

Pair with: Casarena Lauren's Cabernet Franc

The fresh red fruit and hints of dried herbs and spices in this Cabernet Franc match beautifully with the rich walnuts, wild rice and sweet acorn squash flavors, topped off with the bright and tangy pomegranate relish.

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INGREDIENTS:

Squash & Stuffing

  • 2 large or 3 small acorn squash, halved & seeded
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. chile powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked wild & brown rice blend
  • 1 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
  • Additional extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate Relish

  • 2 tbsp. pomegranate or red wine vinegar Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

TO PREPARE:

Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle squash halves with a little olive oil. Combine spices, salt and pepper and sprinkle this mixture into the halves. Turn cut side down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until squash is fork-tender. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan and cook shallot until softened. In a mixing bowl, combine shallot, cooked rice mixture and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and add some olive oil to help bind the mixture.

For the relish: Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Turn roasted squash halves over and fill each cavity with some of the rice mixture. Drizzle each with a little olive oil. Return to oven and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and heated through. Transfer to a platter and top with some of the Pomegranate Relish. Serve as a main or side dish.

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