Fall CSA - Stuffed Squash

[Posted by Ruth]

We're into the end of the second week of our Fall CSA and, so far, there seems to be as much, if not more, in our boxes than we had in the summer share.  

Both weeks we got several small wintersquashes that were tan with deep green stripes, some oblong and some more pumpkin shaped.  I've never cooked these before and decided to try my hand at stuffing them when we had friends over this weekend.  The abundance of kale we had found it's way into the squashes as well.

Winter Squashes stuffed with Kale, Sausage and Orzo
serves 4-6

8 small winter squashes, halved, seeds scooped out
2 bunches kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sausage links, I used a chhicken/fontina sausage, sliced
approx 1/4 to 1/3 lb orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 can white beans, drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries
olive oil
1 T chopped basil
salt/pepper to taste
about 1/3 cup dry white wine
1 pat butter, about 1 T
grated Parmesan, if desired, for topping, about 1/2 cup

Preheat oven to 350
Place cut squash in a large roasting pan that has about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom, cut side down.  Roast for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, until they are almost fully tender.  This time may vary greatly depending on the squash you use.  Mine wereVERY hard and took a bit longer than the 45 minutes.

In the mean time, cook the orzo to package directions and drain.

Cook the sausage slices over medium heat until cooked through and lightly browned,  Remove from pan.

In same pan, add olive oil to coat and cook onion and garlic over medium/low heat until softened.  Add the chopped kale and cook, stirring, until the kale has cooked down a bit and is tender.  Remove from pan.  If you used a chicken/cheese sausage there may be quite a lot of browned bits in the pan.  Turn heat to high and add the wine to browned bits, scraping to incorporate them.  When reduced and thickened, lower heat and swirl the butter in.

Mix Orzo, sausage, kale mixture, liquid from pan in large bowl with the cranberries, beans, salt/pepper to taste and the basil.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  It it seems dry, toss with a bit more olive oil.

Remove squash from pan, turn over and lightly salt and pepper the insides.  Drain all water from pan and put the squash back in, cut side up this time.  Fill with the orzo mixture, mounding as much in as will fit, top with grated Parmesan, if using, and put back in oven for about 1/2 hour to heat through.

The beans and cranberries worked well, along with the squash, to offset the bitterness of the kale and the richness of the sausage.  They were a hit.