Stuffed Delicata Squash with Spinach, Walnuts and Dried Cherries
Stuffed Delicata Squash with Spinach, Walnuts and Dried Cherries. Plus sautéed leeks, local garlic, toasted bread crumbs and my favorite cheese soaked in Syrah. I honestly can’t think of a more seasonal or delicious vegetarian dish to celebrate this time of year.
We just got back from a week at the beach. The southern California weather couldn’t have been kinder to us and after the long, crazy summer we’ve had, it was so nice to soak up the sun and spend some seriously family time on the beach. I honestly think my kids clocked 6+ hours a day in the ocean. They were like little tanned raisins when they got out but giant smiles and tired bodies made it worth it! I read 1 1/2 books- something I haven’t done in months- and played a ton of tennis with the Mr. We spent a night at Disneyland, we had so many good meals and you know it’s a good vacation when you’re day involves a bloody mary on the beach!
It was such a great vacation in fact, that none of us were sad to come home and the mountains- and I mean MOUNTAINS- of laundry I came home to didn’t even phase me. I feel more relaxed than I have in ages and spending a week of no work on the house, no blog work, no school, no after school activities and very minimal connection with the online world has left me feeling recharged and like myself again. My husband and I conversed more than we have in months and the kids didn’t get on electronics the entire trip. It might have been the best trip we’ve ever done!
We also celebrated my oldest’s 9th birthday this weekend and it involved football, friends and and the first official family dinner at our house since we’ve moved in. Never mind that I still don’t have doors on a few of my kitchen cabinets or no mirrors or anyplace to hang a towel or the toilet paper in any of the bathrooms. And don’t even get me started on the too many holes in the walls that still need to be patched up. BUT it didn’t matter. It was about the meal we shared, celebrating my kiddo and his uncle who’s birthday was also last week. Vacation will do that to a gal, I just don’t care anymore that the house isn’t done and is taking forever to finish. I’ve adapted a “it will get done when it gets done attitude”. We’ll see how long it lasts…
As awesome as vacation was, it also meant I ate and drank more than I usually do and coupled with months of no kitchen and eating out, my body is craving fresh veggies and home cooked meals. I’m considering doing some sort of a cleanse for a week or two- something I usually do in the spring- but thought it might be nice to do before the holidays. We’ll see….no promises! At the very least I need to up my veggie intake and decrease my cinnamon roll intake. Baby steps.
This stuffed squash uses one of my favorites, delicata, as the skin is edible and it roasts super quick. The flesh is not overly sweet, it’s nutty and buttery and they make the perfect size for an individual portion. This is step one in my eat more veggies campaign and I can’t think of a more appropriate seasonal dish!
Have a great week, everyone, and thanks for reading!
*I used my favorite Toscano Syrah soaked cheese from Trader Joes. It’s a nice cross between a parmesan and cheddar. A good sharp cheddar would be a great replacement here!Print
A vegetarian stuffed delicata squash
- 3 delicata squash, cut in half length wise and seeds scooped out
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large leek, sliced thin
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries
- 1/3 cup shredded sharp white cheddar or similar
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
- Place scooped out squash on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the squash halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Toast walnuts in dry pan for 5 minutes or so just to toast them- keep on an eye on them as they can burn quickly! Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Add leeks and sauté about 8 minutes until soft. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until spinach is wilted about 3-4 minutes more. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and remove from heat to let cool.
- Just before the squash is done roasting, add the bread crumbs, dried cherries and shredded cheese to the spinach/leek mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove the squash from the oven and divide the spinach mixture evenly between the 6 squash halves. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes to heat through.
- Serve warm. These save and reheat beautifully!