Stuffed Acorn Squash make for an easy and hearty vegetarian main course! Roasted acorn squash halves are filled with a simple mediterranean quinoa salad packed with arugula, chickpeas, scallions, tomatoes, and tangy feta! Naturally gluten free and vegetarian. To take this recipe up a notch, serve with homemade tahini sauce for drizzling!
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the center position.
Using a large knife, carefully slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop and discard any seeds and stringy fiber to reveal a ‘bowl’. Trim a very small slice off the rounded side of each half to ensure that the squash lays flat on the baking sheet. Brush the acorn squash flesh with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle evenly with kosher salt and pepper. Distribute the acorn squash halves, cut side facing up, on the sheet pan and roast until the acorn squash is caramelized and fork tender, about 45 to 50 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, as the squash is roasting, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, scallions, za'atar, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat. Allow the ingredients to marinate together while the acorn squash is roasting. Before serving, fold in the cooked quinoa, crumbled feta, and baby arugula. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fill and distribute the quinoa salad into the roasted acorn squash bowls (the salad will overflow out of the top) and serve. Top with easy tahini sauce, if desired.
Tips for Success:
How to Cook Quinoa: Combine 1 cup quinoa grains (rinsed well to remove the natural saponin layer, which has a soapy aftertaste), 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover tightly, and cook for 17 to 20 minutes or until the liquid has been completely absorbed. Fluff and cover for 5 minutes before serving. To cool quickly, spread in a even layer on a baking sheet. Yields: 3 cups cooked quinoa
This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad tastes just as good on it's own and makes for a wonderful make-ahead dish. The arugula will wilt slightly, but will hold up in a separate container for at least 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.
While this dish can stand on its own, it tastes fabulous with a drizzle of this easy tahini sauce!