Provenance of Dish
This recipe is adapted from one I learned from Annemarie Colbin, food visionary and founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute and Cooking School (now part of the Institute of Culinary Education) in New York City. I had the privilege of studying under Annemarie in my twenties, and her healthful, element balanced, plant-based thinking about food is with me still, though she herself left us too soon.
2 medium acorn squash
1.5 oz dried lobster mushrooms, or ½ lb fresh
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/3-1/2 pumpkin seeds, toasted
2-3 tablespoons currants
1-2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the acorn squash into half lengthwise and bake, face down with the seeds intact, in a shallow pan with ¼ cup water poured into the bottom. Check the squash after 20 minutes—cooking time is variable depending on the specific squash. You want it to yield to a finger pressing the skin but not be mushy.
While the squash is cooking, prepare the filling. If using dried lobster mushrooms, place into a ceramic bowl, pour boiling water over to cover until they float a bit, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain and chop into a fine dice. If using fresh, simply chop the mushrooms into a fine dice.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold the rice. Saute the lobster mushrooms on medium low for 5-7 minutes. Watch the heat—lobsters like to be cooked slow and easy! Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the thyme, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, stirring it all together, and cook another 2 minutes. Add the toasted pumpkin seeds, currants, and rice and stir. Add 1 tablespoon tamari and stir and cook until evenly warmed. Taste the filling and season with salt and pepper, adding a little more tamari if needed.
When the squash are baked, allow to cool just a bit and then scoop out the seeds. Fill each squash with the filling and return to the oven to bake for another 15-20 minutes.
Serve as a side dish or as a main with a salad and a loaf of crusty bread.