This photograph is everything that our current weather is not. It’s the coldest day of the year here in Indianapolis. Yet, it’s somehow still possible not stray too far outside of “local” eating to pull off a meal that brings some color and warmth inside, if that’s any consolation to the winter doldrums.
We’re looking forward to a getaway to Vegas in a few weeks, as a family vacation with some of our dear extended family (including 2 toddlers, which will be an interesting challenge!). In the meantime, we’re keeping warm with recipes like this chipotle stuffed delicata squash.
Delicata squash is a variety we hadn’t worked with before. Our favorite squash grower, Stout’s Melody Acres at Indy Winter Farmer’s Market, assured us that this variety was delicious — sweet, almost like a sweet potato. We decided to give it a try, and were incredibly pleased with the results! This squash is very easy to work with (as opposed to butternut squash, which is delightful but really can be quite a chore to clean and prepare). The taste is sweet and tender, like a sweet potato, and you can even eat the skin. And, it roasts up in just 25 minutes since it’s fairly thin.
To create this recipe, we were inspired by this chipotle-glazed butternut squash (a lovely preparation that we intend to try in its original form) and some stuffed poblano peppers we made a few years ago when we had first started this blog. But this is just one idea — you could stuff these squashes with just about whatever you’d like with great results.
Here’s to riding out those winter doldrums (and to those of you in warmer climates, we happily concede your superiority )!
- 4 delicata squash
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- 2½ cups cooked brown rice
- 1½ cups salsa
- 1 15 oz. can of black beans (or 1½ cups cooked)
- 1½ cups frozen or canned corn kernels
- 3 green onions
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 to 1½ cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Fresh cilantro
- Sour cream (optional)
- Start the brown rice (or, make it beforehand and heat it slightly prior to serving). We’ve found in our rice cooker it takes about 40 minutes to cook, but on the stove can take up to 1 hour. Since the filling is added after the squash is roasted, you can roast the squash while cooking the rice.
- Preheat to 450F.
- Wash the squash, then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds.
- Rub each squash half with ½ tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. OR — Optional: Make a chipotle marinade for the squash. (This step can easily be skipped in favor of rubbing with olive oil.) Dice 2 cloves garlic and 1 chipotle chili; combine with 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and ¼ cup olive oil (we used a mortar and pestle), then rub on both sides of the squash.
- Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchament paper, and bake for about 25 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork.
- Meanwhile, when the rice finishes, thinly slice the green onions. Chop the cilantro. Drain and rinse 1 can beans (if using canned).
- In a large bowl, mix together 2½ cups cooked brown rice, 1 ½ cups salsa, 1½ cups black beans, 1½ cups frozen or canned corn kernels, 3 green onions, 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, 1½ teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ cup shredded cheese. Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired.
- When the squash are done, fill each half with the filling mixture. If desired, top with a few dashes hot sauce. Cover with shredded cheese. Place back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Top with chopped cilantro and serve, with sour cream if desired.