I love pistachios. I was really looking forward to this recipe since it had pistachios in it. I thought I was toasting them nicely. Well, I was until I had to walk away from the kitchen for a couple minutes.
It just took those extra couple of minutes to turn them from the perfect color into a dark brown mess. In the garbage they went and I quickly looked through my cabinets to see what I could substitute them with. I found some pinoli I had bought to make my Dark Chocolate and Clementine Pinoli Compound Butter and also some walnuts. I love the flavor of my substitutions.
I happen to be a huge pinoli (pignoli as they are called here)fan. I love their subtle, yet obvious nutty flavor. I usually bake with them and was thrilled with how delicious they were paired with the quinoa, dried cranberries, and walnuts.
I made this as a side dish idea. I ended up eating it for dinner that night. Just perfect as a main course.:) I can’t wait to make again and the next time will try to keep a better eye on my pistachios.;)
It was difficult to not eat the whole stuffing before adding it into the acorn squash. It was delicious!
A wonderful idea for a quick and healthy Thanksgiving side dish. I will be making this again to bring to our hosts’ house for Thanksgiving on Thursday.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries, and Pinoli
slightly adapted from Whole Living November 2011
4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup pinoli, chopped and roasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
juice of one lime
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, walnuts, pinoli, dried cranberries, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lime juice, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among squash. Dig in and ENJOY!
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all the wonderful friends I made through my little blog. Thank you for your friendship and support. xo