Stuffed Squash with Tahini Sauce
Roasted garlic mellows addictive tahini sauce on this Italian sausage-stuffed squash.
- Yield: Serves 2
1 acorn squash, halved, seeds and stringy bits removed
1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup quinoa
½ cup vegetable broth
100 g mild Italian turkey sausage, casing removed, crumbled
¼ cup red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced
2 cups spinach, chopped
2 tbsp mozzarella, shredded
2 heads roasted garlic (see Step 8 below)
½ cup tahini
⅓ cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Trim a small portion off the top and bottom of squash and then cut in half. Brush each cut half with oil, then season with onion powder and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until fork tender.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Put quinoa and broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
4. Place sausage in a skillet and cook on medium-high heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until fully cooked. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
5. In the same skillet, add peppers and onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened.
6. Add spinach and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
7. Add quinoa and vegetables to the bowl with the cooked sausage and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into each squash. Top with shredded mozzarella and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese turns golden and begins to bubble.
8. To make roasted garlic (for tahini sauce), preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut off top half of garlic head and brush with oil. Wrap head in tinfoil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until fragrant and caramelized. Squeeze cloves out of skin into a small bowl. Garlic will keep for up to 2 weeks refrigerated.
9. To make tahini sauce, remove garlic cloves by pinching the end to squeeze out cloves and put them all in a food processor or blender. (Alternatively, use a fork to remove the cloves.) Add the tahini, water and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Serve squash with tahini sauce.