Roasted Kabocha with Cranberry Kale Stuffing

Unlike the typical, starchy bread cubes, the stuffing inside of this rich roasted kabocha is made with barely, rye, oats, and lentils, combined with onion, celery, kale and cranberries. 

 

Makes 4 servings - Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 1 hour 50 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 large kabocha squash, halved crosswise (see Note at bottom of directions)

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, minced

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup finely shredded kale or other dark leafy greens

1 tablespoon Umami Sauce

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Ground black pepper

1/2 cup dried black lentils, rinsed

1/2 cup hulled barely, rinsed

1/2 cup rye berries, rinsed

1/2 cup oat groats, rinsed

 

Directions:

- To prepare the whole grains for the stuffing, pressure cook the lentils in 1 cup of water on high in an electric pressure cooker or multicooker. Allow time for natural pressure release so the remaining water gets absorbed. Remove the cooked lentils from the pot and set aside.

- Combine the barely, rye, and oat groats in the cooker. Stir in 3 cups of water. Pressure cook for 30 minutes, or use the "Mixed Grain" button if your cooker has one.

- Add the cooked lentils to the cooked grains and toss gently to combine.

- To prepare the kabocha squash, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

- Using a strong knife, cut the cap off the squash. With a spoon, scrape out and discard its seeds and fibers. Set aside.

- Heat 1/4 cup of water in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, kale, Umami Sauce, thyme, rosemary, sage and black pepper to taste.

- Remove from the heat and stir in with the cooked whole grains until well combined.

- Spoon the stuffing into the center of each half of the squash. Transfer the squash into the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. (Note: if the stuffing is getting too browned, cover it loosely with foil.)

- Check the squash for tenderness after the baking time. If it cannot be pierced with the tip of a knife, return the squash to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the squash is soft and easily pierced with a knife. Serve hot and enjoy!

- (Note: To make a hard winter squash easier to cut, piece the skin of the squash in a few places (to let the steam escape), then place the squash in a microwave on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. The squash should soften enough to cut easily.)