Maple Glazed Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apple, Parsnip and Sage

Thanksgiving is just over a week away. Chances are you are thinking of menu items. Shop at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market this weekend for your menu ingredients, centerpieces and other holiday needs. This hearty fall recipe for Maple Glazed Stuffed Acorn Squash is deeply satisfying. Acorn squash is roasted with a bit of maple syrup until it’s soft and caramelized. A savory filling is made with fall apples, parsnips, sage,  pecans and your choice of either Italian sausage or Soy Sausage. It’s easily customized…for example if you are having guests over, some of whom are vegan, you can make some vegan and also make some with meat.
Winter squash can be difficult to cut. There are a number of ways to success. One is to pierce the skin in a couple of places (so it will not explode while it is in the microwave), microwave the squash on HIGH for a minute or two, and let it stand for several minutes; then, try cutting it again. If it is still too hard, microwave it a few more minutes. Use hot pads to handle once it has been in the microwave, it will be hot. Another way it boil the whole squash for 5 minutes, then cut.

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 small acorn squash
  • 2 Cups peeled and diced parsnip ( two medium sized)
  • 1 Cup Italian or soy sausage, browned
  • 1 Cup diced apple ( fuji or gala)
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 Cup (packed) chopped kale
  • 2 T packed, chopped sage
  • 2 T Maple syrup
  • ½ Cup Maple pecans (recipe below) or toasted pecans
  • 3T Olive oil
  • Splash white wine, or hard cider
  • kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • fresh nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Cut Acorn Squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Brush insides with a mix of 1 T olive oil and 1 T maple syrup. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and lay skin side up on a greased, or parchment lined baking sheet, and roast in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes, until you can pierce through skin and flesh with a fork. Remove from the oven and using a metal spatula, turn over, trying to keep caramelized edges in tact, and let cool. Place in a baking dish.
  3. While squash is roasting in the oven, brown Italian sausage ( or soy sausage), set aside and wipe out pan. In the same pan, saute parsnips and onions in 2 T olive oil, on medium heat, until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add apples and sage, and saute 5 more minutes, until apples are tender. You may need to add a little more olive oil. Generously Salt and Pepper to taste.
  5. Splash with a little white wine and add kale and pecans. When wine has evaporated, add 1 T maple syrup.
  6. Add sausage back in and taste for salt, adding if necessary. Add a little fresh grated nutmeg or a pinch or two ground.
  7. Fill the squash with the apple parsnip sausage mixture and place in a 350 F until heated through (about 15 minutes)
  8. To Make Maple Pecans
  9. Pre heat oven to 400F
  10. In a small bowl, coat pecans with real maple syrup ( only real maple will work here) Add a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper.
  11. Spread out on a greased baking sheet and using a timer, bake 12 mins in a 400 F oven, giving them a mix, then baking another 8-12 minutes.
  12. Remove, let cool 3-4 minutes, then use a metal spatula to unstick them from the sheet pan. If they are completely stuck, place them back in the oven for a minute or two, to loosen, and try again. Then let cool completely, store in a zip lock bag. I make these in big batches and use in salads or cheese platers.
Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
Recipe type: Main Cuisine: northwest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
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