I love the idea of being able to eat the vessel my dinner arrives in. Squashes make this entirely possible. Little known fact: you can eat the squash skin too!
To make this vegetarian, swap out the Italian sausage for your favorite sausage alternative, such as ground seitan. This would also be a great non-traditional addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas table. —Leslie Engel
medium acorn squash
olive oil, divided
chopped white onion
clove garlic, chopped
loose spicy Italian sausage
canned chopped tomatoes, drained
chopped fresh thyme leaves
chopped fresh oregano
shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese
salt & pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squashes in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds (save for roasting!). Slice a small piece off the bottom of each squash half so that it is stable. Brush inside of each squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until squash is tender but not mushy. You should be able to easily pierce it with a sharp knife.
While the squash is in the oven, prepare the stuffing.
Remove stems and thick ribs from chard leaves. Chop chard stems/ribs into ¼ inch pieces. Set aside. Roughly chop chard leaves.
Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and chopped chard stems. Cook until onions are translucent and chard stems are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add sausage, breaking apart with a spatula as it cooks, if necessary. Once sausage is just cooked through, add tomatoes, chard and herbs. If there seems to be too much liquid from the tomatoes, allow it to cook off for a minute or two. Otherwise, remove skillet from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon sausage mixture into each squash half and sprinkle with a quarter cup of cheese.
Return to squashes to oven, and turn heat up to 450 degrees. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes.