This was a night where I was totally in the mood to go with the flow and so I did exactly that. I started with cooking the squash and then began throwing things together. As I went to make the quinoa I remembered I had some pomegranate juice and thought it might be fun to infuse this dish with the flavor. I love squash dishes that are both a bit sweet and savory and this gave it a perfect balance.
Then as things got cooking I realized what would make this perfect...a balsamic reduction!
I had never made it before but figured it couldn't be too hard. I looked up this recipe and made a few adjustments since I didn't need quite so much. Then I figured I'd throw some pomegranate juice in there as well. I did two parts vinegar and one part juice I think I'd change that to three:one ratio in the future.
Even though I felt like I was just throwing stuff together without much purpose, this dish came out awesome. In the future I might add some chopped nuts, maybe slivered almonds, but since Mr. Charming doesn't care much for them I left it out. He even enjoyed this dish which I was a bit nervous about.
With no further adieu...
Pomegranate Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Balsamic Reduction
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 + 1/8 cup pomegranate juice (a variety like Pom Wonderful that's pure juice)
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp Craisins (I used the pomegranate variety)
1/4 onion diced
Handful of spinach, about 2 cups
1 acorn squash
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400*.
First cut your acorn squash in half and scoop out the guts and seeds (feel free to save seeds for roasting!), then place face down in a baking dish. Add about a 1/2 inch of water to the dish and place in the oven for 1 hour or until tender. You could also do this in the microwave and cook for 7-10 minutes face down in a baking dish, be careful with time pending on your microwave and squash size.
While your squash is cooking combine 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup pom juice and 1/2 cup quinoa in a small pot. Turn heat on high until it boils. Once it boils turn down to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Be sure to look at the instructions on your quinoa package in case they differ.
Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot add onion and saute until translucent, then add in craisins and turn to medium low heat. Add the spinach and cook down. Once all of the veggies are cooked turn heat down to low. Then add the quinoa once cooked.
For the balsamic reduction combine the 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar with 1/8 cup of pom juice (though I suggest trying 1/2 vinegar and 1/8 juice) in a small saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Once it boils reduce heat to a simmer and occasionally stir until liquid has decreased by half and become syrupy. Be careful not to overcook.
Plate your acorn squash and then stuff with half of the quinoa veggie mixture, repeat with the second half. Drizzle the balsamic reduction evenly over each squash and use any extra on side veggies. This is a yummy dish by itself but I think in the future it could be made even more lovely with a touch of feta.
Marvel in the beauty of this dish, dig in and enjoy! Best served with a glass of slightly sweet red wine. Just be sure to not spill on your cream colored couch...
Do you have any acorn sqaush recipes you love? Share them with me!