Stuffed Butternut Squash
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 2 hours
2 medium butternut
1 ⁄ 4 cup olive oil, plus more for rubbing squash
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ⁄ 2 cup dried porcini or other mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ⁄ 2 cup dry red wine
1 cup vegetable stock or water
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Peel and trim the squash; separate the long necks from the bulbous bases. Scoop out the seeds, and reserve. Roughly dice the necks into pieces no bigger than 1 ⁄ 2 inch.
2. Rub the hollowed-out bases inside and out with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stand them up on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast, flipping once, until they are browned all over and you can easily pierce the flesh with the tip of a sharp knife, about 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, soak the porcini in 1 cup hot water until soft; remove and chop, reserving the liquid. Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 minutes. Add the chopped squash and the porcini, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is browned, 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Add the red wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom, and let it bubble away until it almost disappears. Add the mushroom-soaking liquid (leave any sediment behind) and the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover partly and cook, adding more liquid if the pan gets too dry, until the squash is very tender, 10 to 15 minutes; taste and adjust seasoning.
5. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate small skillet. When the oil is hot, add the squash seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the chopped sage, lemon zest, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss.
6. When the squash bases are done, spoon the chopped squash mixture into the cavities (save the leftover stuffing or serve it on the side). Sprinkle with the squash seeds.
Recipe from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix (Photo: Sam Kaplan)