I don’t know about you, but my farm basket is filled, week after week, with winter squash squash and greens. Kale and butternut mostly, but then there are beet greens, spinach, kombocha squash, baby mixed greens and for a little change of pace, collard greens and delicata squash. Don’t get me wrong, I love my greens and I love my squash, but sometimes it’s hard to come up with new and exciting ways to cook them.
Last Thursday, in a desperate attempt to make space in the fridge before the new produce box appeared on my porch, I came up with the idea to stuff a delicata squash with collard greens. The greens, I parboiled then sauteed with a bit of chopped garlic. The squash, pre-baked until tender, was stuffed with the boiled and sauteed greens. I topped the whole thing with a pile of Parmesan cheese and threw it into a hot oven for a few minutes to brown it up.
My husband and I ate our cozy winter lunch outside in the garden near my pea vines, which are in full bloom. It was 78 degrees. It was January. And our lunch was delicious.
Sweet winter squash and spicy, bitter greens truly make an excellent flavor combination. Feel free to substitute the slender delicata squash with acorn squash if you can't find it at your market, and the collards with kale, or even broccoli raab. This meal was perfect for lunch, but if you want to serve it as a meatless main dish, double the recipe.
- 1 delicata squash
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Halve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and pulp. Drizzle the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Wash the collard greens and cut out any thick stems. Slice the greens into strips, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Blanch the greens in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove, drain and squeeze out any excess water.
- Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the greens and pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes more. Remove from heat.
- Fill the cavity of the squash with the collard greens. Top each with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Season with salt an pepper to taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese begins to turn golden brown. Serve immediately.