All you need is love and
home cooked food.
The November kitchen is all about hardy ingredients. Tonight, with candles lit and the fairy lights twinkling, the kitchen is filled with the scents of Autumn: apples, pecans, sage. These stuffed Squash are the epitome of the season; they’re full of flavour. I hope you’ll give them a try!
It’s been quite chilly here on the BC coast. The moist air from the ocean creates a cold that seeps through clothing right to the bone. Luckily my walk from work is less than 10 minutes but even so, I walked quicker today to stop from trembling. I’m a cook (not really a baker) so once my apron goes on and I’ve got music playing (tonight it’s Sting’s If On A Winter’s Night), it’s time to get serious.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
YOU WILL NEED: (serves 2)
- 1 med/large butternut squash
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil, divided
- Sea salt
- white pepper
- 2 Italian sausages (I found some really nice fennel sausages)
- 1/2 a medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tsp of fresh sage leaves chopped
- 1 Tsp of fresh rosemary leaves minced
- 1 Tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup of chopped kale
- 1/2 a medium apple chopped – no need to peel
- 1/3 cup pecans chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup apple juice sweetened
Preheat your oven to 425° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut open the butternut squash lengthwise so you have 2 long halves. Scoop out the seeds and strings, then drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Place face down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until softened. Pressing the top of the squash will give you a sense of how soft it is without having to remove it from the oven.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook until about 3/4 of the way done. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add in the fresh herbs (or dried, if using) and continue to cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 of the apple juice until it’s evaporated.
Add in the kale, apples, and pecans and cook, stirring to combine flavours, for another minute or two until just softened and use the rest of the apple juice to deglaze the pan. Remove from heat, stir in the cranberries, and season the mixture to taste with sea salt and black pepper if needed.
Once the squash is done, allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, then use a spoon to carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving about 3/4” border around the sides and bottom. You can save the squash for another use, or even freeze it to keep longer.
Spoon the sausage mixture into the squash generously to use all of it up. Once filled, place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the top of the stuffing and squash are golden brown, 2-4 minutes or so. Garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired and enjoy!
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