Easy Vegetarian Curry Stuffed Acorn Squash with a Green Apple Topping
Funny how one week the weather shamefully boasts sweat induced summertime heat and the next week it's as if Autumn so politely swept in to save the rest of October. Just last week, I was telling you guys how warm it still was in L.A. and how lucky I was to find some summer squash blossoms to stuff and deep fry. Well, yesterday morning when I walked outside, I noticed a smile forming on my little money-maker and a bit of extra giddiness in my bones. For it was about 65 degrees out and I was wearing nothing but my favorite pair of daisy dukes and a tank top.
Rejoice. Fall is here in L.A. For how long I certainly can't say. This city seems to lack seasons even more so than good ole Tampa, Florida. And you Florida peeps know that's saying a lot. But nevertheless, the feeling of Fall that I witnessed yesterday was just enough motivation for me to finally whip up some comforting autumn time cuisine.
You may already know that I adore Thai and Indian curries. The aromatic and often times, spicy, stuff soothes my soul and delights my tastebuds. A quick and luscious curry is kinda a staple in my home. So much so that I can't recall a time when there wasn't a jar of curry paste and can of coconut milk in my kitchen.
Everyone's stuffing acorn squash for Fall. It's almost as obnoxious as the Pumpkin Spice Latte fad, which I so violently hate.
But I wanted to stuff an acorn squash too, damn it. I just didn't want to copy everyone else with the mixtures of wild rice, quinoa, and cranberries.
So vegetarian curry it had to be.
And then I remembered.... I wasn't really being original either. You see, there's this awesome pub near my home called Library Ale House. Their in-house chef-created dishes are diverse and luscious, and many appeal to the healthier palate. And it just so happens the recipe I'm sharing with you today is inspired by the very first thing I ate there, when Chris and I first moved to L.A some 7 months ago.
They prepare a curry from scratch, loaded with veggies and spices galore. They then stuff an acorn squash with the curry and top it all off with julienne-cut granny smith apples.
So that is exactly what I'm sharing with you today. Minus I didn't make my curry from scratch (tisk tisk, I know) and I do believe they cut their acorn squash closer to the top, and serve 3/4 of it stuffed, rather than in halves like I decided to do with mine.
Friends, this recipe is not only healthy, easy, and delicious, it also makes for one picture-perfect presentation too.
Vegetarian Curry Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 medium to large acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato
1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple
1 12 ounce can coconut milk
3 tablespoons mild curry paste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons chili flake (optional)
Basmati Rice, cooked according to package directions
1) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon butter into each acorn squash half. Place on a large baking pan, flesh side up. Also put the carrots and butternut squash on the pan and rub with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
2) When the oven is heated, place the pan on the middle rack. Using a fork, poke holes all over the sweet potato. Then place the sweet potato directly on the rack. The vegetables will take different times to cook so remember to check them with a fork every so often.
*Carrots and Butternut squash will cook in about 25 minutes.
*Sweet Potatoes will cook in about 40 minutes. Remember that since the potato will be going in a curry you won't want it too mushy. Test with a fork after about 35 minutes and if it's tender, remove from oven.
*Acorn squash will cook in about 1 hour. Wait until it has caramelized on top some and then remove from oven.
3) While checking the veggies sporadically, use a basting brush to brush the melted butter all over the acorn squash.
4) When the butternut squash and carrots are cooked, prepare the curry. To a large saucepan on medium heat, add one tablespoon olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened. Turn heat down to low and add the curry paste. Mix into the onion. Then add the carrots and butternut squash to the curry paste and onion.
5) When the sweet potato has cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Then, peel, chop, and add it to the curry paste. Now, slowly add the coconut milk, while stirring constantly. Add the Sriracha at this time, if desired. Turn off heat.
6) Remove the acorn squash from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
7) Julienne cut the green apple. With a ladle, fill each acorn squash half with the vegetable curry and then top with the apple and chopped cilantro, if desired.
8) Serve with Basmati rice.