Southern Prince Charming and I have been looking for ways to both support the local economy and branch out, in all ways culinary. It was an obvious choice for us to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), as SPC is constantly wanting to fulfill his desires of being a farmer/ frontiersman. As members of a CSA, you pay a certain amount at the beginning of each harvest season, and get a share of what the farm produces each week. Then, the community shares the ups and downs of what the farm produces. So, for the last month we’ve gotten a package of vegetables every week, with everything from eggplant, summer squash, basil, arugala, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, popping corn, pattypan squash, turnips, radishes, bok choy, sweet corn, and acorn squash.
At first, I wasn’t sure how to cook all of the various vegetables, but that was part of the CSA fun; learning to cook seasonally, and learning to cook new things. Acorn squash was the first big challenge; I had no idea how to cook it, despite being able to concoct delicious recipes from the rest of the vegetables. However, I stumbled across a tempting recipe for Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash, which was a delicious seasonal use of the acorn squash. I found the recipe on Eating Well (in all fairness, I Googled stuffed acorn squash, and this one came up).
I made a few changes to make the recipe more to my taste, but it ended up deliciously. The original recipe can be found here.
- acorn squash, (3/4-1 pound each)
- 1 cup ground turkey
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- * I saved time with the onions and cherry tomatoes by grinding them in a food processor. It made them fine and released a lot of delicate flavors.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Cut squash in half horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add turkey and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and salt, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down and the mix isn’t too juicy, 10 to 12 minutes.
- When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325°. Fill the squash halves with the turkey mixture. Top with cheese. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
The finished product is the perfect marriage of spicy southwestern turkey and sweet, seasonal acorn squash. Another benefit of the recipe is that you can add in hot sauce, bell peppers, and adjust the level of spice to suit your needs. However, the recipe above allows you to get tasty bites of the southwestern mix with the soft, warm squash, a marriage made in seasonal-vegetable heaven. I’m beginning to love the fall harvest more and more each week. Stay tuned as I make more seasonal, farm-fresh vegetables and share more recipes!