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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

 

Stuffed Honeynut Squash

I confess, I am a sucker for diminutive foods like baby zucchinis and petite ratna eggplants. So falling in love with adorable 3-inch honeynut squash was inevitable. A cultivar of butternut and buttercup varieties, they are simply delicious. Moreover, they are two to three times richer in beta-carotene than butternuts and a good source of vitamin A, B vitamins, and an array of minerals.  To enhance this dish’s climate bona fides I stuffed the squashes with nutty, chewy black sorghum, sautéed with shallots, garlic, and mushrooms. Pomegranate arils and sweet peas add color and interest. These colorful, pretty cups make a delightful, climate-supportive side dish for fall and winter holiday dinners.

 

Prep 35 minutes

Cook 30 minutes

Makes 12 servings

 

1 medium pomegranate, deseeded

2 tablespoons sodium-free dehydrated soup vegetables, rehydrated

⅓ cup dried mixed mushrooms, rehydrated

1 teaspoon porcini powder from ¼ cup dried sliced porcini mushrooms, ground

1 cup black sorghum, rinsed and pressure-cooked

2 whole cloves garlic

1 sprig each of rosemary, sage, bay, and 3 sprigs of thyme, tied in bouquet garni

6 honeynut squash, cut in half, seeds removed

1 large shallot, cut in a small dice

½ cup no-sodium vegetable broth, kept hot, to deglaze pan, to moisten the pan as needed, and to dilute the miso paste (see below)

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon dry thyme leaves

Several grinds black pepper

3 tablespoons aka (red) miso paste, dissolved in ¼ cup heated vegetable broth

½ cup petite frozen peas

Garnish with fresh chopped chives.

 

  1. To deseed a pomegranate slice it in half. Pick up one half with its cut side facing downward. Position it over a large bowl and with a large wooden spoon, “spank” the upper side of the fruit. This will loosen and release the arils without damaging them and without removing the pith. Remove pieces of membrane if they interfere with the falling arils. Repeat with the other pomegranate half.
  2. To rehydrate the soup vegetables, boil 2 cups of water. Measure the dehydrated soup vegetables and place in a small bowl. Cover them with very hot water and steep them as you continue prepping ingredients.
  3. In a separate small bowl, place the dried mushrooms and cover them with very hot water. Place a lid over each bowl and steep mushrooms until use.
  4. Use a coffee grinder to grind the dried porcini slices into a fine powder. Measure out a teaspoon and store any residual powder in a tight-lidded spice jar, placing it in a cool, dark cupboard.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  6. Rinse the black sorghum. Transfer it to a pressure cooker. Fill the pot with 4 cups of vegetable broth. Add the whole cloves of garlic and the bouquet garni. Lock the pressure cooker and heat over high heat. When the pressure cooker reaches full pressure, in about 10 minutes, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for 35 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to naturally release the pressure slowly, about 10 minutes. The sorghum should be soft, nutty-tasting and just a bit chewy.
  7. Open the pot, drain any residual liquid, discard the garlic and bouquet garni, and transfer the cooked sorghum to a bowl.
  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the deseeded honeynut squash face down. Roast for about 20 minutes but check them for doneness at 15 minutes. The squashes are ready when a sharp knife penetrates the squash without resistance. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and carefully flip each squash half over.
  9. Set the oven to low broil. When the oven reaches temperature, insert the cookie tray, and broil the squash just until the cut tops are lightly toasted, in 5 to 10 minutes. Keep watch that they do not over-broil or they could dry out.
  10. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a pastry brush to brush their tops with pomegranate juice from the bowl with the arils.
  11. Lower the oven temperature to 150°F. When it has cooled, insert your serving plates to warm.
  12. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the diced shallots, stirring occasionally. Cook for a few minutes to allow the shallots to soften, release their liquid and begin to darken the pan.
  13. Deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of hot broth, using a wooden spoon to scrape the caramelized shallot sugars from the pan.
  14. Stir in the minced garlic and dried thyme leaves. Strain the rehydrated mushrooms. After a minute add them to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes. If the pan dries, add a little hot broth.
  15. Stir in the cooked black sorghum and porcini powder. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Cover and cook on low for a final 5 minutes to allow all flavors to meld.
  16. Turn off the heat, stir in the diluted miso to taste. Taste to correct all seasonings.
  17. Strain the rehydrated soup vegetables. Stir them into the pan with the peas.
  18. Fill the depression in each roasted honeynut squash half with the filling, mounding it slightly on top.
  19. Transfer each stuffed squash to the heated plates in the oven to keep warm until serving.
  20. To serve, sprinkle each plate with chopped chives and serve hot.

Stuffed Honeynut Squash

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