The perfect fall dish!
CRANBERRY RICE STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
2 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)
1/4 cup olive oil (divided, plus more to garnish)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup brown rice (rinsed)
2 cups water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pistachios
1/3 cup mint leaves (finely chopped)
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated, to taste)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scooping out and discarding the seeds. Drizzle halves evenly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle halves evenly with brown sugar and flesh-side up on an aluminum foil-lined sheet tray. Place in the oven and bake until softened, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the squash is cooking, in a medium sauce pot, combine the rice and water over medium-high heat. Season with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for another 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Fold in the cranberries, pistachios and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
When cool enough to handle, scoop out some of the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Discard excess flesh.
Fill each squash half with the rice filling, dividing evenly. Top with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until everything is warmed through. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
To Toast Pistachios: In a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat spread pistachios in an even layer and toss occasionally for 5-6 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Cool and roughly chop.
Tip: Instead of discarding the excess butternut squash, save and use it in delicious soup or pie filling!