Tart Cherries, Delicious and Healing
Does your veggie side dish game need a boost? Try these eye-catching, cherry-and-nut-studded squashes, and give everyone their own personal squash. My secret weapon is the Tart Cherry, in both dried and liquid form. Tart cherries are reknown for their anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as their tangy cherry flavor. I love cooking with the bright red fruit, and if they help with the old achey joints, well, it’s a bonus! Just a few ingredients are all you need to build this riot of flavors and textures. Tender, sweet squash, hearty kale, crunchy walnuts and chewy cherries combine to give you an adventure in each bite.
The Art of Filling a Squash
Delicatas are a lovely, cylindrical winter squash that is perfect for stuffing. Look for small ones, so a half squash can be a single serving. If you are shopping for stuffable squash, and all the Delicatas are huge, look for another small squash, like a sweet dumpling, or even mini-pumpkins.
I’ve made many versions of stuffed squash and pumpkins, including this Nut Curry Stuffed Pumpkin, from my second book. Go for that one if you want a main course. This is a medley of veggies, fruits and nuts, but not quite a meal in itself.
It’s always a good thing to have another way to enjoy the winter squashes, this time of year!
Delicatas Stuffed with Kale, Tart Cherries and Walnuts
- 1 small Delicata squash
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 bunch lacinato kale stripped and chopped, save stems for another use
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 2-3 tablespoons tart cherry juice
- generous pinch salt
- 1/3-1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper
- Halve the squash, scoop the seeds and pulp and discard. Place cut side down on the pan and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife.
- In a large saute pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat, then saute the kale. When the kale is softened and dark gree, add the cherries and stir, then add the cherry juice and salt and cook, stirring, until the juice is evaporated and coats the kale. Transfer to a bowl.
- Stir the walnuts into the kale mixture and stuff the squash. Reheat in the oven before serving.