vegetable dishes

Moroccan Stuffed Squash

I don’t know what to say about this dish other than that I am obsessed with the colors and flavors in it. You can use any squash for this dish, and stuff it with this salty, sweet, spicy, and tangy filling. The filling would be good on a shoe, and would probably look as pretty. It pairs really well with the Moroccan Chicken I posted for Passover a few years ago, which is spicy and so deliciously savory.

Moroccan Squash.jpg

Moroccan food is one of the cuisines I know the least about, which is why I was tempted to dabble in the flavors a bit. Moroccan dishes use a ton of spice combinations, including by certainly not limited to: turmeric, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, saffron, anise, nutmeg, and zaater (or zatar). The dishes are bold and leave a lot for your palate to decipher. What balances out these bold blends are dried fruits like apricots, cranberries, and prunes. I absolutely love the balance and challenges that these dishes present me with. It’s very out of my daily routine… and I am always up for a culinary challenge!

Moroccan Squash 2.jpg

Moroccan Stuffed Squash
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time:

Ingredients:
4 acorn squash, cut in half or thirds
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp corainder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1 tbs brown sugar

For Stuffing:
1 small yellow onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs honey
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup dried apricots, small dice
1/2 cup dried cranberries, small dice
1/2 cup castelvetrano olives (the avocado green olives in any olive bar)
3 tbs pine nuts

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the acorn squash onto a baking dish and spray well with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a small bowl, combine the paprika through brown sugar and mix well. Season on top of the squash (you may not use all of this spice blend). Cover the squash with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

3. While the squash is baking, heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter, onion, and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Add the honey, dried fruits, and olives. Cook on medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, so that the flavors can start to incorporate. Remove from heat.

4. When the squash has finished cooking, remove from the oven and use a fork to scrape the squash and lift some of it out of it’s shell. Add a hearty scoop of filling to each of the segments, and cook again in the oven, this time at 350 degrees uncovered, for 10 minutes. Top with the pine nuts before serving.

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