Baked Acorn Squash with Fruit and Gruyere
I’m blown away by my new coworkers. They’re intelligent and articulate, and as the new kid in town, I’m determined to prove my communications chops.
First task: remake the Press, a clunky company newsletter that could be a case study against layout in Word. I love blogging, so I figured I’d take it digital… what could possibly go wrong?
After 100 painstaking hours of designing the Press 2.0, I held my breath and emailed the link to all 190 staff. I just forgot one thing: 160 of them work from offices that block blogs. As I copied my pretty publication down from the Web and back into Word, defeated, I couldn’t help but appreciate the irony.
So at the end of the day, I wanted nothing more than a glass of wine and Dinner 1.0, something comforting, casual, and impossible to mess up. A while back, Zested reader Heather (herself a talented poet and editor of the Blood Orange Review) had emailed me a recipe for baked acorn squash, her comfort food of choice as a poor, tired grad student in the Pacific Northwest.
She described the dish as a foodie’s mac and cheese, and it fit that description to a T. Each warm spoonful was a buttery bite of contentment, a perfect end to an imperfect day.
Baked Acorn Squash with Fruit and Gruyere Stuffing
From Heather Hummel
2 Acorn Squash
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/8 tsp pepper
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
2 TBS butter
1 pear, cored and chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 1/3 cups cubed french bread (or darker bread for a richer taste)
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 TBS minced chives
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Heat oven to 400. Halve and bake the squash until tender. Sprinkle squash with half of the salt and pepper. While squash is baking, cook leeks in butter, in a skillet for 12-15 minutes (medium temp) until tender and browned.
Increase temp to medium-high; add fruit and cook about five minutes until fruit is tender too. Stir in remaining ingredients, including remaining salt and pepper. Stuff into squash and bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.