Stuffed Acorn Squash with Barley, Apples and Walnuts
- Yield 4 servings
Autumn fruits and nuts and woodsy sage combine with quick-cooking barley for a hearty, healthy filling for winter squash.
Crushing dried herbs between your fingers helps release their flavors. In the case of sage, it also helps break up any stem pieces.
- 2 acorn squash, about 1 pound each
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 1 cup diced peeled apple
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 3/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed between fingers
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons apple juice or cider
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut each squash vertically in half; scoop out seeds and fibrous pulp. If needed, cut a thin slice off bottoms so squash sits evenly. Place squash, cut sides down in a greased shallow baking dish.
- While squash bakes, cook barley according to package directions.
- Bake squash 30 minutes or until tender. Remove pan from oven and, using tongs, turn squash cut sides up. Lower oven temperature to 375F.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and apple; cook, mixing occasionally, 6 minutes or until apples are lightly browned in spots and tender. Remove pan from heat; add barley, walnuts, sage, salt and pepper and mix with large spoon to combine.
- Spoon barley mixture (about 1/2 cup) into each squash half and spoon 1 tablespoon apple juice over each. Bake 20 minutes or until tops are lightly toasted.