I remember buying Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Around My French Table, and thinking — a) this woman really knows how to cook and b) I really need to got to France. Since a trip to France wasn’t in the cards, nearly every meal we ate, for weeks after, were Dorie recipes and my northern Wisconsin table had a decidedly French flavor in that winter of 2010. One of my favorites to this day is her Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good so, when I walked into the Chequamegon Co-op on Tuesday and spied a pile of exuberantly speckled Carnival squash — I knew exactly what I was going to make for dinner.
I had been wondering what to make with South Shore Meat’s polish sausage and figured using it in the squash stuffing, along with a Yoman Farms leeks, a Hauser’s apple, and a Great Oak Farm’s onion, would be a good idea. And it was. Everyone, even Meghan (not an enthusiastic squash eater), gave this recipe rave reviews. Plus, it’s an easy and filling dinner — a welcome thing on a busy weeknight!
Squash Stuffed with All Sorts of Good Things
3 Carnival squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 pound South Shore Meats polish sausage
1 cup wild rice, uncooked
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 medium leek, white and light green parts sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup cream
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash halves, cut side down, in a roasting pan filled with a couple of inches of water and place in oven. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender (a skewer or fork can easily be inserted) but is still holding its shape. Set aside.
Place 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil. Add the wild rice, bring back to a boil, and then reduce to a steady simmer, cover the pan, and cook until kernels are tender — about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan, brown the polish sausage until cooked thoroughly. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the olive oil and onion, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add the leek, celery, and apple and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and pecans and cook for a couple of minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cream, maple syrup, sherry vinegar, polish sausage, and wild rice. Mix thoroughly and scoop the filling into the cavity of each squash half, piling it into a mountain so that it holds as much as possible. Place in oven and roast for another 15 minutes. Serve immediately.