Include this all-in-one dish at Thanksgiving for the vegetarians in your crowd. Koginut squash have a creamy texture and just the right shape for stuffing. In this recipe, the squash are roasted first, then filled with the bread stuffing. This can be done ahead with a final 15 to 20 minutes to heat the stuffing through. But take care not to over-roast the squash when cooking it the first time. For the stuffing, use a combination of fresh and dried herbs as you like. You should also feel free to use your own favorite bread stuffing in this recipe, though I'd shy away from using eggs as a binder since the stuffing doesn't cook for long.

Susie Middleton

Serves 8

For the squash:

  • 4 koginut squash (each about 1 ¼ pounds), cut in half, seeds removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter, softened


For the stuffing:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup small-diced onion (about one 6-ounce onion)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cored Brussels sprouts (6 to 7 ounces Brussels sprouts before trimming core)
  • 1 medium (6 to 7 ounces) unpeeled apple, cored and cut into small dice (choose a firm apple such as Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Honey Crisp), about 1 ½ to 2 cups
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, sage or oregano (any combination) 
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried Bell’s seasoning or a combination of dried sage and thyme
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, lightly chopped
  • 12 ounces rustic bread (about 9 cups), cut into ¾ inch cubes, toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts
  • (pecans, walnuts or pine nuts)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth or good-quality vegetable broth thinned with water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
  • parsley (optional)
  • 2/3 cup coarsely grated
  • Parmigiano Reggiano or Gruyere

 

Susie Middleton

For the squash:


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil first and then top with parchment paper. Rub the parchment paper all over with a little butter.

2. Season the flesh side of the squash with salt and arrange the squash halves cut-side down on the parchment. 

3. Roast the squash until the flesh is just tender, 30 to 40 minutes. (Check by turning one over with a metal spatula and pricking with a fork or knife.) The skin will be darkened. Don’t overcook as the squash will be going back in the oven when stuffed. Remove the pan from the oven; turn the squash cut-side up and leave on the pan.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

For the stuffing:

1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven (I like nonstick) over medium heat. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt, cover partially, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover, add the Brussels sprouts, apple and ½ teaspoon salt and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until the Brussels sprouts are limp and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

2. Add the herbs and cranberries and stir to soften.

3. Turn the heat to low and add the bread, the nuts, several grinds of fresh pepper and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir well.

4. Combine the apple cider, balsamic vinegar, and 1 cup of the chicken broth and drizzle it over the bread mixture. Toss and stir to combine well and moisten the bread. If necessary, add a little more chicken or vegetable broth a few tablespoons at a time, just to moisten the bread mixture so that it holds together loosely when you make a handful of it. Fold in most of the chopped parsley, if using. Taste and add more pepper or salt or herbs if you like.

5. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool long enough for you to handle it and then portion it into the eight cooked koginut halves. Use a packed half-cup measure to fill the bigger halves and a packed third-cup measure to fill the smaller halves. Press down lightly and mound a few more tablespoons on each. You might have  leftover stuffing. Sprinkle the cheese on the squash halves. You can hold the stuffed squash like this at room temperature for 30 minutes.

*Alternatively, cool the stuffing mixture to room temperature before stuffing the squash and then hold the stuffed squash in the fridge for several hours. Bring back to room temperature before finishing.

Susie Middleton

To finish:

1. If necessary, heat the oven to 350 degrees F again. Bake the stuffed squash for 20 minutes, or until the stuffing is heated through and the cheese is lightly browned. (You can use an insta-read thermometer to check the temperature, but since there are no eggs in the stuffing, heating to about 135 is plenty.) Serve right away.

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