How to Guide
Recipe courtesy of Heather RamsdellMakes 12 servings
These striped stuffed squash towers earn their place at the center of the plate with their rugged good looks and savory filling. This recipe is easy to customize for the tastes at your table. Add a few ounces of vegan sausage to the onions as they cook, use dried apricots instead of cranberries, or chewy farro or earthy barley instead of quinoa
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scrub the outside of the squash; the skin is edible. Trim the round ends from each squash and slice the squash crosswise into 1 ½-inch-tall cylinders. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and fibers and to hollow out the centers.
Brush the squash inside and out with some of the olive oil. Season all over with salt and pepper. Arrange the cylinders on a lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and roast, flipping halfway through, until beginning to brown in spots and tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, but not slumping, about 45 minutes. Brush squash with the vinegar.
While the squash roasts make the filling. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the cashews and stir to coat with the oil onions and oil. Add the kale and thyme and season with salt. Turn with tongs until coated with oil and cashews and just wilted, about 2 minutes. Gently mix in the quinoa and cranberries and transfer to a bowl.
Remove the squash from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.
Use a spoon to pack each squash with the kale and quinoa filling. Then return to the oven and continue roasting uncovered until the leaves and nuts begin to toast, about 15 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the disks to a platter, sprinkle each one with a few drops of vinegar and an extra drizzle of oil and serve.