Acorn Squash with Wild Rice, Apples, Celery & Sage

I love squash in almost all forms, baked, sauteed, roasted, pureed etc... and since it is apple and squash season, a perfect vegetarian dinner (for my pseudo veggie husband) should include both! I picked up some beautifully sweet and crunchy honeycrisp apples from the Boulder Farmers Market over the weekend. Too bad honeycrisp apples are not always in season....

1 acorn squash, cut in half with seeds removed
2 cups wild rice, cooked in vegetable stock
1.5 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
7-10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
15-20 walnut or pecan halves
olive oil or grape seed oil to drizzle on squash
1 tbs butter
1 tsp dark brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp real maple syrup


Cook wild-rice as you normally would but using stock instead of water. Heat oven to 400F.  Brush oil on cut squash and then put squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, melt butter and sauté apples, celery, nuts, and sage. After a few minutes, add brown sugar and toss to coat. Continue to sauté until the celery begins to soften. Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper. Mix the skillet ingredients with the cooked rice. 

Pull the squash out of the oven and stuff with rice mixture. Drizzle with maple syrup and put back into the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is soft.  Season with sea salt and cracked pepper.

(you can make the rice mixture and pre-bake the squash in advance. This leaves only the final 10 to 15 minutes of baking, just before serving)

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