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Salubrious Stuffed Squash Recipe from Vermont Bean Crafters Co.

December 18, 2013

Joe Bossen "Jefé & Chefé" at Vermont Bean Crafters Co. is a master at creating beautiful and creative recipes that take full advantage of the local harvest. Here Joe shares a herbivore-friendly recipe for a breathtaking main course that is sure to impress at your holiday table.

While you're busy using your countertop to prepare other aspects of your holiday meal, these entrees patiently prepare themselves in your oven. What follows is a fairly quick, certainly easy, and assuredly aesthetically compelling range of centerpieces for the holidays:

Chop the stem-side off of a Blue Hubbard or Red Kuri squash creating a hole big enough to scoop the seeds out once roasted (most any winter squash would work). Consider keeping the top, roasting it beside the rest of the squash, and use it as a lid on the stuffed squash to come at the time of plating.

Brush the whole exterior with sunflower oil and applewood smoked sea salt, fire it off in the oven until it's easily penetrated with a fork and glistening with almost charred, golden tones (about 45min at 400F). Scoop out the seeds, clean them in a colander with running water, oil, salt and roast them separately so they can be served beside the roasted squash, which you can then stuff with any of the following:

- shiitake emmer risotto with onions that have been caramelized with apples and cider reduction

- oven-roasted sweet potatoes and whole garlic cloves smashed together with thyme-infused oil

- parsnips, oven-roasted until the sugars seep out and caramelize, tossed together with wild rice and a touch of apple cider vinegar

- marafax beans, prepared into old timey baked beans, with more smoked sea salt (rather than ham hocks; this dish predates the European importation of pigs) mustard seeds, maple sugar, a touch of tomato paste, and a wee bit of sage

Any one of these combinations can come together to make a dramatic centerpiece. You can mix different variations and lay them out on a cutting board or slate with bowls of toasted seeds and nuts. Crème fraiche or plain yogurt, goat cheese, or any hard alpine cheese will also work well when graced across the top of these, if you must, but these flavors hold their own without any such accoutrements.

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