Monday, October 15, 2007

Butternut Squash and Apple Bake

4 - 6 tbsp. cooking oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into slices
2 - 3 celery stalks, chopped
4 - 6 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
120 ml of water or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper for seasoning
50g of chopped pecans or walnuts
75g of breadcrumbs
1 large cooking apple

Oven: Pre-heat to 190c

Heat half the oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and cook for five minutes or until it starts to brown. Add the carrot, celery, mushrooms and squash. Continue cooking over a medium heat for five to ten minutes. Then add the water or stock along with the seasoning. Simmer gently for a few more minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.

In a separate pan or skillet, gently sauté the nuts in the remaining oil. After a few minutes, stir in the breadcrumbs. Remove from the heat.

Finally, peel the apple and cut it into small chunks (don't do this ahead of time or the apple will turn brown). Transfer the vegetables to an oven-proof dish and add in the apple. Cover with an even layer of the breadcrumb mixture.

Bake in the oven for half an hour, or until the topping is a golden brown.

Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 medium acorn squash
125 g chopped, peeled apple
20 ml honey
10 g butter
a pinch of ground cinnamon

1. Cut squash in half; discard seeds. Place squash cut side up in a 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Fill centers with apple. Cover and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the honey and butter. Cover and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds or until butter is melted. Drizzle over squash. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes longer or until tender.