>Baked Acorn Squash with Collard Wheat Berry Risotto

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I think my boys are finally tiring of this whole-grain and leafy green focused diet.  They’re ready for some meat, but unfortunately there just wasn’t any in the house this evening. 
I’m sure my telling them that I had lunch today at Flip Burger Boutique didn’t help matters much.  Nor did my sheepish confession that I might have tried the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Milk Shake for dessert. I’m really going to have to make that one up to them.  I mean, that burger was incredible – cooked to perfection, charred on the outside, tender on the inside.  Five ounces of organic grass-fed beef paired with smoked mayo, heirloom tomato, sauteed vidalia onions and crispy pickles, it really did hit the spot.  And I won’t even talk about the milkshake.  It was wrong on so many levels, which made it remarkably right.  I know I’ve shunned the burger craze in another post, but I have to say that this was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.  I think it might have been the mayo and the onions, though.  So good.  And yet, so bad.
So for dinner tonight, I turned to my vegetable crisper and grain larder for inspiration.  Collard greens and acorn squash stared at me in all their green glory, and wheat berries and the last bit of short-grain brown rice called to me from the pantry. Together with some homemade turkey stock from my freezer, it made for a lovely dinner.  It was a hit with my husband and me, but the kids weren’t so thrilled with it.  Like I said, I think they’re ready for some meat.  

Baked Acorn Squash
prep time: 2 minutes
cook time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
2 acorn squash
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400F and lining a baking sheet with foil
  2. Cut two acorn squash in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom).  Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  3. Lay them cut-side up on the baking sheet (if necessary, trim the skin side so that they sit flat and level).  
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and (this step is optional) place 1/4 of the tablespoon of butter in the center of each.
  5. Bake at 400F for 45 minutes.  Check for doneness by piercing with a fork.  Finish by turning the broiler on and browning the top for 5 minutes or so.
 Collard and Wheat Berry Risotto
prep time: 2 minutes
cook time: 45 minutes
yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
1 cup short-grained brown rice
1/2 cup wheat berries
1 bunch collard greens,stems removed and chopped
1/4 medium red onion, diced
6-8 cups chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
  1. Place wheat berries in a pot of boiling water and cook for 20 minutes, or until they’ve softened slightly.  Drain.
  2. Heat a saute pan on high heat – get it smoking hot.  Add the diced onion and sautee until it begins to brown.  Add a little bit of water if it starts to stick.
  3. Add the rice and saute until the grains start to toast a bit.
  4. Add two cups stock and the wheat berries.  Allow to simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Add remaining stock one cup at a time, allowing each addition to become fully incorporated before adding the next.
  6. On the next to last addition, add the collard greens.  Stir them through to wilt.
  7. Continue adding remaining stock until rice is fully cooked.
  8. Serve inside the well of the cooked acorn squash.
  9. Enjoy!

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

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Categories: Dinner, squash

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3 Comments on “>Baked Acorn Squash with Collard Wheat Berry Risotto”

  1. 10 February 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    >I just past some acorns at the store a couple days ago and thinking to myself how I really needed a recipe for this sweet veggie. I love everything about this dish you made. I totally wouldn't miss the meat. Course I'm not much of a meat eater anyway. Looks delicious! Hope you have a great day:)

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