2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large acorn squash (try to pick squash that are short and squat instead of long and pointy tipped)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup sweet onion, diced medium
1 tablespoon fresh sage chopped fine, or half that of dried
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 ½ cups fresh kale leaves chopped fine
2 tablespoons water
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for tops
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a medium sauce pan, place rice, stock, water, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a light simmer, cover and cook until tender. Depending on the type of brown rice you buy, the timing will vary from 35 to 50 minutes. Go by rice package directions. Once done, remove cover and fluff.
While rice is cooking, cut the squash across the center on the horizon and remove the seeds. Snap off the stem if there is one and if the other end has a point, nip off the end so it sits flat.
Line a sheet tray with foil and brush the foil with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Use two more tablespoons of olive oil and brush the cut edges and insides of each squash half then set cut side down onto the oiled foil.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender. Invert and set aside. Leave the oven at 425 degrees F.
While squash and rice are cooking, in a large saute pan, place the rest of the olive oil and over medium heat add onions, sage, salt, pepper and pepper flakes and cook three minutes.
Add the sausage and break up into small pieces while browning.
Once the sausage has cooked, add cranberries, kale and water and cook for about five minutes until kale has wilted.
Remove from heat and stir in all of the cooked rice and the half cup of Parmesan cheese.
Replace the foil on the pan with a clean sheet and place the six acorn squash halves cut side up and divide the rice filling between them, mounding in a round pile. I found it easiest to use a large ice cream scoop to divide the filling.
Sprinkle on a little Parmesan over each top and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is hot and just starts to brown on top.
Keywords: acorn squash with sausage & rice stuffing