Rice and Pecan-Stuffed Squash
- Yield: 8 servings
- 4-- medium golden acorn or delicata squashes
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1-- large onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 to 1cup soft whole grain bread crumbs (see Note)
- 1 1/2cups cooked brown rice
- 2/3cup finely chopped pecans
- 2/3cup fresh orange juice, or as needed
- 2teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2teaspoon dried oregano
- -- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1pinch nutmeg
- -- Sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake the squashes according to the directions in the sidebar on page 000.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown. Combine the sautéed onion in a mixing bowl with the bread crumbs, cooked rice, and pecans.
- When the squash is done and cool enough to handle, discard the seeds, then scoop out the pulp, leaving a sturdy, 1/2-inch shell all around. Chop the pulp, and add it to the rice and pecan mixture.
- Add the orange juice, more or less as needed to moisten the mixture, followed by the syrup and dried herbs. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, mix thoroughly, and stuff the squash shells. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then serve.
- For butternut squashes, serve each squash half as a hearty main dish; or cut each half across to serve 8 as a smaller portion. For golden acorn or delicata, serve each half as a main dish portion.
Note: Make fresh bread crumbs by whirling torn slices of whole grain bread in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. For a gluten-free stuffing, use gluten-free bread to make the crumbs.