Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes

From inthekitchenwithkath.com (Adapted from a recipe on The Bitten Word blog, credited to Martha Stewart Living)

Serves 4

2 pounds acorn squash (preferably 2 one-pound squashes, but you can use 1 two-pound squash)

2 teaspoons olive oil

½ pound ground lamb (or ¾ pound ground beef)

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 cup finely chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup broken rice (or bulgur wheat)

1¼ cups water (or 2 cups for bulgur wheat)

¼ cup golden raisins

¼ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚.

2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Put the squash cut-side down in a baking dish and bake until done, 35 – 40 minutes.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the ground lamb with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of salt until it is done. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Set the lamb aside.

4. Add the onion to the pan, and cook until it is beginning to get tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.

5. Put the broken rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it well. Add the rice, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the water to the pan. Stir, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the rice is done, about 15 minutes. Remove the covered pan from the burner and let it sit for 5 minutes.

6. Stir the lamb, raisins, parsley and pine nuts into the broken rice.

7. Scoop the cooked squash out of the shells.

8. Break the squash up with a spoon into smaller pieces and stir it into the lamb mixture.

9. Spoon the stuffing into the squash shells and bake at 400˚ for 12 – 15 minutes, until it’s warm and slightly browned. (My large squash took 15 minutes; smaller ones may have taken less time.)