There is no better time than when the leaves begin to change colors and fall to the ground. They go from various shades of green to vibrant reds and mustard yellows. They top the sidewalks like sprinkles on a cupcake. They blow in the soft autumn breeze.
But the best part of fall is the food (naturally). Starchy stews and thick soups, buffalo flavored anything (perfect for game-day), pumpkin spice coffee, and seasonal squash.
When the weather starts to change I immediately begin to crave winter squashes: butternut, spaghetti, acorn. Winter squash is delicious and can last for months when stored in a cool, dark area. Butternut squash is great diced and cooked with risotto and parmesan. Spaghetti squash can be tossed with your favorite sauce as a pasta alternative. Acorn squash is best roasted with pure maple syrup brown sugar, and stuffed with sage sausage crumbles, apples, and farro…at least that’s my humble opinion.Brown sugar and maple syrup brings out the perfect amount of subtle sweetness in the squash. Sage seasoned loose sausage and apples, mixed with fresh orange juice, brings together the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
This is the perfect comfort dish for when the leaves begin to fall. Even the colors are autumnal–the rich orange of the roasted squash, the golden hue of the apples, the sage green*.
*Reader note: If you have craisins on hand, toss some into this recipe. not only will the crimson color pop against the all the golden ingredients but the tart flavor will add an extra dimension to this dish.
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 cup uncooked grain of choice (I used farro, brown rice would also work), cooked according to package directions
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 8 oz. loose sausage
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 orange
- *Optional: handful of craisins, pecans, or walnuts.
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Place squash halves on baking sheet and score the edges with a knife
- Drizzle the halves with maple syrup and brown sugar
- Cover tightly with tin foil and roast, face up, until fork tender (approx. 40-60 minutes)
- Make farro or other grain according to package directions
- While squash is in oven, brown sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat
- Add sage and stir occasionally until sausage is cooked through
- Transfer sausage to a plate or bowl and add the diced apple to the same skillet used for the sausage
- Saute the diced apple for 2 or 3 minutes, until apples are soft; remove from heat
- Squeeze the juice from one orange into the skillet and immediately add the removed sausage and cooked farro (or other grain)
- Remove the squash from the oven and fill each half with the sausage “stuffing”
- Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes until golden brown
*Note: there will be extra filling and you will eat it for lunch the next day.
Recipe adapted from A Hint of Honey.
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