The fall is here so we might as well welcome it with open arms! Get out your cozy pants and your big mugs for warm cups of tea. I’m starting to like these early nights. It makes me feel like the days are calmer and they feel complete at the end of it, like I’m not really missing anything else :) Here’s a really yummy dish I made tonight which is perfect for a rainy, cold day. I got it from a magazine I picked up at Capers.. couldn’t resist the cover!!
South America Squash & Vegetable Ragout:
6 dried pitted apricots
4 dried pitted prunes
5-6 small acorn or butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for coating sqaush
1 small Spanish onion, diced (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 14.5oz can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and rained.
1. Place apricots & prunes in a bowl, and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Soak 2 hours, or overnight. Drain and coarsely chop fruit, reserving liquid.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut circular opening in squash tops, and reserve bottoms (this is the hardest part!). Cut small slices off bottoms of squash so they stand up straight. Scoop out and discard seeds and fibre from squash. Rub outsides of squash shells and lids with oil, and place on prepared baking sheet.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and oregano; saute 2-3 minutes. Add bell pepper and tomatoes and juice; cook 2-3 minutes. Add potato, sweet potato and reserved apricot-prune soaking liquid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are almost soft. Add corn and apricot-prune mixture, and simmer 2-3 minutes more. Add beans, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.
4. Ladle 1 cup stew into each hollowed squash; place lid on top. Bake 60-90 minutes, or until fork can easily pierce through squash.
Smile with your heart!