MEL × RIVERBEND: Rice & Lentil Stuffed Carnival Squash
RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS
If, like me, you’ve been living under a rock for some time and have yet to experience Carnival Squash let me introduce you to this beauty of a vegetable. You can recognize their quintessential look by their half way orange halfway green stripes on an off-white base (not sure what I mean, take a peek at this recipe for photos of this beauty). They’re an acorn squash cross and just like it’s forest green & yellow fleshed cousin, it’s a little sweet and makes a perfect bowl for stuffing.
I had never experienced carnival squash before starting my stint with Riverbend Gardens. So if you fall in love hard with carnival squash like I do, send them a love note!
Time to celebrate fall flavors
This week’s recipe celebrates some of fall’s favorite flavors. Namely: squash, apple & cinnamon. In the mix, you’ll also find beautifully earthy lentil and the gorgeous chew of wild rice which balances out the sweet flavors perfectly.
It’s not a sweet dish, per se, it’s something I would definitely have for lunch or dinner alongside a beautifully spicy arugula salad.
Pro tip: using a Macintosh apple (if you can’t find them, ask your fruit farmer what the closest thing would be) really makes this recipe shine. The fruity acidity found in this apple really brightens the dish a ton.
If you can’t find some (or a similarly tart apple) add a bit more lime to balance out the sweetness!
* you can find wild rice in most grocery stores now a days, but you could also easily swap for a brown rice or a rice mix of your choice
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
1 carnival squash
1 C wild rice*
1/2 C french lentil
1 large Macintosh apple
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1 small head of garlic
3 T olive oil
2 T lime juice (1 lime)
2 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
1 t ground cinnamon
Salt + Pepper
Arugula (optional) to be served as a side salad with a drizzle of balsamic & olive oil.
5 MINS PREP + 30 MINS COOK
Heat the oven to 400.
Cook lentil + wild rice according to package instructions (usually takes about 30 minutes) then set aside.
While the legumes + grains cook, half the squash and remove the seeds with a spoon.
Place the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cut the bottom off the head of garlic and separate the cloves while keeping their skins on.
Place half the cloves in each half of the squash and bake for 30 minutes or until squash is soft when poked with a fork or the tip of a knife.
Dice the Macintosh apple into small cubes and place them in medium mixing bowl along with the lime juice, olive oil & spices.
Remove the garlic from the squash, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and chop them before adding it to the bowl along with the rice and lentils.
Mix well, add salt and pepper then ladle into the squash bowls and serve.