Not being American I only learnt about Thanksgiving while studying at an American Art college, while most bank holidays, Royal weddings and religious holidays were ignored, the one thing that was really celebrated to the hilt was Thanksgiving. We were all given the day off for preparation, wine by the barrel was ordered and the whole school got involved. As a right of passage the first years staggered home with enormous turkeys to cook in their tiny student ovens and everyone else spent the day preparing a dish to bring to the evening feast.
It was always an amazingly colourful, loud and creative affair and every year since I like to do something to give a little thanks still holding my own Thanksgiving meal. Jewel Stuffed Squash is my offering for a vegetarian main at this time of year. A celebration of seasonal vegetables will please meat eaters and plant lovers equally. You could also add a crumbling of feta before baking.
Free from gluten, dairy and Vegetarian/ Vegan.
Prep Time 20minutes, Cook Time 1 hour 15minutes
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 125grams cooked quinoa
- 125grams cooked beetroot, diced into small pieces
- herbs- mint, basil
- nuts & seeds - pinenuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- to serve - pomegranate seeds and rocket
- Heat your oven to 200C.
- Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place each cut face down in the oven proof dish and fill the pan with water so that it just covers the bottom of the squash.
- Bake for 45 - 55minutes, until the squash flesh is soft.
- While the squash cooks, sauté the diced onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
- Mix the onion and garlic with the quinoa, beetroot, herbs and nuts, season and set aside until the squash is ready.
- After 45 - 55minutes, drain the water from the squash and place skin side down. Scoop out some of the soft squash leaving a lining around the sides and bottom.
- Mash the butternut squash with the quinoa mix and scoop the stuffing back into the squash halves, if using feta crumble over at the point.
- Bake for another 10 - 15minutes.
- Serve topped with pomegranate seeds and rocket.