There's a Seat for Everybody at This Table

Delicata Boats With Red Rice Stuffing

Vegan, gluten-free
Adapted from The Meat Lover's Meatless Celebrations
Yield: 6-8 servings

Kim O'Donnel's The Meat Lover's Meatless Celebrations is a fantastic source for vegetarian and vegan holiday meals the whole year 'round. For Thanksgiving, she suggests this gluten-free and vegan main, which she describes as "hearty yet elegant."

1½ cup water

1 cup Bhutanese red rice

3-4 delicata squash, about a pound each

⅛ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

¼ cup unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped (can also substitute walnuts, almonds, or pecans)

⅓ cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

Zest of ½ lemon or orange, plus juice

⅛ teaspoon ground chile powder

1) Bring the water and the rice to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. The rice will be done when water is absorbed and grains are tender. Kept covered for 5-10 minutes, the rice will continue to cook. 2) Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trim both ends of each squash and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and the attached pulp. Brush both sides of the squash with the olive oil, and season the inside to taste with salt and pepper.

3) Roast until easily pierced with a fork (about 30 minutes) and remove from the oven. Lower the oven heat to 350°F.

4) While the squash roasts, make the filling: Transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl and add the 1/8 cup olive oil, along with the parsley, nuts, dried fruit, fennel seeds, ginger, citrus zest, and chile powder. Stir until the rice is coated with the oil and the mixture is well incorporated. Add the ¼ teaspoon of salt, stir, taste, and re-season if necessary.

5) Fill each squash half with about ¼ cup of the filling. Return to the oven and heat for about 15 minutes, until the rice is warmed through.

6) Serve immediately, or lower the oven temperature to 225°F.

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Thanksgiving, alternative diet, delicata squash

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