Please consult the OU's guidelines for checking fruits and vegetables.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pears, Wild Rice and Walnuts (pareve)

Eileen Goltz. | Not Listed

Please check ‘Special Instructions’ below with regard to possible insect infestation within the following ingredients:
Fresh Sage, Thyme and Parsley Herbs, Wild Rice and Walnuts.

Ingredients

3 acorn squash
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) pareve margarine, at room temperature
3/4 cup wild rice
1 1/2 cups pareve chicken (flavored) broth
¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
2 firm Bosc or Anjou Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries


Instructions

Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste. Using 3 tablespoons of the margarine, dot each half with some margarine. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water, in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated.

In a 10-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan and saute the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and saute 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the sage, thyme, and parsley and saute 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sauteed vegetables and pears, walnuts and dried cranberries. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly. Cut the remaining tablespoon of margarine into small pieces. Dot each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Fresh Sage, Thyme and Parsley: Fresh sage, thyme and parsley, (as well as basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary) are fresh herbs often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water. Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used. Recommendation: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used. Inspection: 1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.) 2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs. 3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs. 4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light. 5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs. 6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded. Wild Rice: Instructions to determine if the wild rice is infested, especially bulk packagages and sacks of rice, or when stored in a warm area: 1) place several handfuls of rice in a bowl of water 2. Agitate the water and allow the rice to settle to the bottom of the pan. 3. After allowing to stand for a short while, carefully examine the water for insects, which normally float to the top. 4. If insects are found, the entire sack is likely to be infested and should be discarded. Walnuts: As a general rule, raw nuts do not require certification. However, one should be careful to avoid walnuts and cashews when the shells appear perforated with small holes. This may be a sign of infestation.

Please check ‘Special Instructions’ below with regard to possible insect infestation within the following ingredients:
Fresh Sage, Thyme and Parsley Herbs, Wild Rice and Walnuts.