Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Eggplant

I spent my day working out of The Butcher Shop in the South End today. We had a big photo shoot in the morning of some giant cuts of meat (i.e. ribeye, 2-inch thick filet mignon, rack of lamb) for a brochure for Savenor’s market. I love days like today where I get work done but don’t have to sit in an office.

While sitting at the window at TBS, I looked outside and saw all sorts of beautiful, fresh produce at Siena Farms, which is just next door. There was a big box of acorn squash out there just starting me in the face. I had to buy some. And I did. What resulted was an easy dinner that looks way fancier than it actually is. Perfect for impressing that special person in your life. Or yourself. You’re special too.

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Eggplant

Serves 2

  • 2 acorn squash, about 1 lb each
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 eggplant, small dice
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, small dice
  • Salt, pepper, herbs de provence
  • 3 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut top off each squash. The top should only be about an inch down from the top of the squash. You want the top to look like a little hat.
  3. Scoop out all of the seeds and threads and throw away.
  4. Place squash opening down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Having the squash opening down will allow it to steam itself.
  5. Melt butter and oil together. Saute onions over medium heat until translucent. Even longer if you want them to be more tender.
  6. Add eggplant to onions. Saute until eggplant is cooked through.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. I found this mix to be the best when a bit on the peppery side. It offsets the sweetness of the squash perfectly.
  8. In a medium sized bowl, mix cooked quinoa and eggplant/onion mixture.
  9. Take squash out of the oven, place on a place. Fill each squash with quinoa/eggplant/onion mixture.
  10. Serve with top of squash for effect (If that’s your kind of thing. It was mine. Squash Hat.)

Advertisements

Squash and Sausage Stew

As I’ve mentioned before, I love fall. Not only do I love the pumpkin and pumpkin beers┬áthat come with fall, but I also love butternut squash and hot soups on cold days. Today was pretty cold, so I decided it was a soup night. And why not have soup with butternut squash?

At first I was reading a bunch of different stew recipes, but in the end I just decided to wing it, to go with my gut. And in the end, my gut was happy. (Bear with me with the pictures. This is my first venture into photographing my recipes. Any comments or critiques would be much appreciated.)

Squash and Sausage Stew

Serves 4

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet Italian sausages (turkey or pork) [I left the sausages whole for portion control sake, but you can slice them after you brown them if you want]
  • 2 hot Italian sausages (turkey or pork)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium russet potato, cubed
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (Trader Joe’s sells pre-washed, peeled, and cubed squash. So easy)
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

the browned sausages, broth, and carrots

arugula, potato, squash, beans, carrots sneaking in there

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot, brown the sausages on all four sides. This will take about 10 minutes. Once browned, remove the sausages from the pot and set aside.

Reduce heat in pot to medium. Add onion and cook until translucent. Don’t burn them!

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil.

all ingredients in pot

boil, baby, boil

Once boiling, reintroduce the sausages to the mix. Lower heat to medium-low, still keeping the soup at a light boil.

sausage, back in action

Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft.

Make sure to taste and add salt as needed. This recipe will need it.

the stew with my favorite drink ever (raspberry lime seltzer)

Enjoy!