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Prairie Flavors


Squash Season By Laura Araujo I


t might not be winter, but it’s winter squash season in Oklahoma. Squash are part of the Cucurbitaceae family that includes every- thing from cucumbers and cantaloupes to gourds and pumpkins. Winter squash are distinguishable from summer squash varieties—


such as zucchini and pattypan—by their hard rinds, which make them storable in a cool, dry location well into the winter months (hence the name). Their slightly sweet fl esh works in both sweet and savory prepa- rations, and—with the exception of spaghetti squash—winter squash varieties can be used interchangeably in most recipes. For more in- formation on winter squash and how to prepare them, visit Oklahoma Living’s digital edition at www.okl.coop.


Spaghetti Squash Gratin Serves 4


2 pounds spaghetti squash 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/3 cup diced onion 1 clove garlic 1 cup chopped fresh tomato 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dry thyme 4 tablespoons butter 1 cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup parmesan cheese Salt and pepper


Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash Serves 6 to 8


4 small acorn squash


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa*


1 teaspoon chicken base or 1 chicken or beef bouillon cube


1 cup water


1 pound mild Italian sausage 1 cup diced onion 2 cloves garlic


1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped Zest of 1 orange (optional) 6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed


Spaghetti Squash Gratin


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use a large knife to cut the squash in half. Re- move the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash halves, cut side down, into a baking dish. Add 1/4 inch of water. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, add the oil to a medium skillet over low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and thyme and cook over medium-low for 5 more minutes. Transfer the tomato mixture to a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the bread crumbs and cook over medium, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the parmesan cheese. When the squash is done baking, use a fork to scape the fl esh away from the skin. Add the squash to the bowl with the tomatoes and mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the squash back to the baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until the topping begins to brown.


24 WWW.OKL.COOP


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the acorn squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds and strings. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Brush the halves with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the fl esh is tender when pricked with a fork. (Baking time may vary based on the size of the squash.) Meanwhile, prepare the fi lling. To a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and the chicken base or bouillon; stir to coat the quinoa with the oil. Turn the heat on to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the quinoa begins to toast. Add the water and bring the pot to a boil. Then, place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the burner and allow the pot to stand for 10 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic, cranberries and orange zest and cook un- til the onions are tender. Add the kale, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the kale is begins to wilt. Turn off the heat and stir in the quinoa. Fill the baked squash cavities with the sausage mixture. Return to oven for 15 minutes. *Note: You can substitute brown or regular long-grain rice for quinoa; adjust rice cooking time as needed.


Skillet Lasagna Photos by Laura Araujo


Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash Photos by Laura Araujo


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