Roasted Delicata Squash with Cauliflower Walnut Stuffing
A bounty of numerous kinds of colorful squash appears in the markets at this time of year. Sometimes it’s difficult to decide which squash to choose. All squash, including pumpkin, make excellent stuffing possibilities. So how to choose?
First, there is the difference between winter and summer squash. Summer squash like zucchini, patty pan, and crookneck have a soft skin and interior whereas a winter squash has a rigid, hard rind like delicata, pumpkin, acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and Hubbard. Though both are good for stuffing it is the winter squash that is best suited for this recipe. Spaghetti is best in recipes where the flesh is roasted and removed from the rind. Butternut is also so meaty that it is best used in dishes such as soup, stews and the like that are removed from the rind prior to cooking. Hubbard is so large that it is not best for stuffing unless you have a very large wood burning oven! Choose instead squash like delicata, small pumpkins (sugar), and acorn squash that have about two-inches of flesh attached to the rind with the center full of seeds that can be replaced with filling.
Whichever squash you choose will be brightly enhanced by this hardy cauliflower walnut stuffing. The spices here have a definite Italian flare. And the nutritional yeast adds that cheesy flavor and its nutrients supplement a vegan diet. Altogether this is a quick and easy recipe that is sure to warm the cool days and nights to follow.
Please note that the stuffing and the squash can be roasted in the oven at the same time.
2 delicata squash or 2 small sugar pumpkins
1 pound riced cauliflower
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon dry ground fennel
2 tablespoons Tamari sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. If using the delicata squash, slice in half and remove the seeds and reserve. If using the sugar pumpkins cut or break off the stem, pierce with a knife, microwave on high for four minutes, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
2. Toss the cauliflower, walnuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and ground fennel together. Mix in the Tamari sauce and olive oil until well coated. Distribute on a sheet pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper then into the oven and bake for fifteen minutes. Flip over and bake another fifteen minutes until browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and reserve hot.
3. Place the squash or pumpkins on a Silpat or parchment paper lined sheet pan cut side down. Roast until pierced with a knife they are tender, about thirty minutes.
4. Stuff the hot squash halves or pumpkins with the hot cauliflower mixture. Serve hot.