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A vegan squash dish that’s bold enough to please meat eaters

Acorn squash stuffed with mushrooms, farro and winter citrus. (AP Photo)

Acorn squash stuffed with mushrooms, farro and winter citrus. (AP Photo)

Looking for a vegan main dish that’s robust enough to leave a meat eater satisfied? This stuffed squash dish has you covered.

We start by halving and roasting acorn squash, which have a rich, satisfying flavor that only deepens in the oven. And since the bowl-like shape of the squash just begs to be filled, we created a mushroomfarro stuffing spiked with lemon zest and juice. If you don’t mind adding some dairy, crumbled soft goat cheese or feta would be a delicious addition to the stuffing.

Each half is just about right as an entree serving, but they are easily cut into quarters to work as a side dish. And if you want to feed a crowd, the recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

Winter Citrus, Mushroom
And Farro Stuffed
Acorn Squash
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
2 medium acorn squash

Olive oil
Kosher salt and ground
black pepper
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced
mixed mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion,
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked farro
1/4 cup chopped fresh
1 tablespoon minced
fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped
fresh thyme
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a small baking pan (such as a 9-by-9-inch pan) with foil and spritz with cooking spray.

Cut the acorn squash in half from stem to point and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Slice off a small piece of skin from the rounded side of each half so the squash can sit flat with the cut side up. Rub the cut side of each half with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, then arrange in the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan over mediumhigh, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the farro, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and lemon zest and juice.

When the squash has cooked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and spoon the filling into each half. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the squash flesh is tender when pierced with a paring knife.

Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories; 90 calories from fat (26 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium; 62 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 10 g protein.

Alison Ladman is a chef, food writer and recipe developer for The Associated Press. She also owns The Crust and Crumb Baking Company in Concord, New Hampshire.

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