Entertaining a wide range of hungry eaters this holiday season? This recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Charleston Gold Rice Pirlau is going to be the buffet equivalent of your LBD.
The pirlau (aka, pilaf) combines two kinds of rice, leeks, mushrooms, TSC Alum Schermer Pecans, cranberries, and sage, which make it hearty enough to be a meatless main dish. Another option is to serve it as a side dish alongside your centerpiece turkey or roast. The recipe can easily be modified depending on your crowd, too. Hosting vegans? Just omit the Parmesan cheese. Have a Paleo eater in the crowd? Swap the Charleston Gold rice for another whole grain like brown rice, farro or barley. Gluten free? Simply get rid of the Panko breadcrumbs.
If you can find little baby acorn squash, you should grab. them. ALL! I found these little beauties at our local Whole Foods market in a variety of shapes and colors. If you can’t find baby squash, you can use regular size acorn squash. You just might need to halve them from top to bottom to make the container for the rice.
Or, you can get a giant Kabocha squash and use that as the serving vessel. The squash make such a cute and decorative edible container for the rice pirlau and add instant décor to your buffet. You can serve them warm or at room temperature, another entertaining bonus.
Charleston Gold rice, from TSC alum Food for the Southern Soul, is a short grain rice, similar to an Arborio. So it is quite starchy when cooked, which makes for more of a creamy risotto texture. I like to pair it with black rice for a dramatic color contrast.
I’m always going for different textures in my recipes, so I like to garnish the stuffed acorn squash with fried onions. It’s kind of like a homage to the French’s fried onions you put on top of green bean casserole. You could certainly use those, or even fry your own, but I like to use these jarred Fried Onions I get from the Asian market. They are real onions that are perfectly golden brown and crispy. It’s the perfect garnish to this hearty Fall dish.
So as you plan your holiday menus, I hope you will add this to the list. I promise that no one will leave your house hungry!
What’s your favorite Fall entertaining recipe? Share with us in the comments!