Cooking Contests / Food

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Havarti Cheese

Back in December I received an email from the folks over at Rumiano Fine Natural Cheese informing me that they had chosen my recipe submission as the winner of their 2015 Holiday Recipe Contest.  I had won a gourmet gift basket filled with these incredible goodies:

  • 13 – 8 oz pieces Rumiano Family Organic cheese
  • 2 – 8 oz bars of Rumiano Family Organic butter
  • 1.5 pound bag Thanksgiving Coffee Holiday Blend
  • 3 sticks Creminelli salami – Casalingo, Barolo, Whiskey
  • 3 boxes 34 Degrees crisps
  • 1 bag 18 Rabbits granola
  • 18 Rabbits granola bars
  • 2 copies Culture Magazine
  • 1 copy of Gordon Edgar‘s book – Cheddar
  • Rumiano Cheese Co. hat
  • Rumiano Cheese Co. sweatshirt

From the assortment of wonderful Rumiano cheeses, to the super thin crisps from 34 Degrees (which were amazing), the delicious granola from 18 Rabbits, and artisan Creminelli salami, my family has thoroughly enjoyed eating their way through these goodies (and we still have plenty more to go!).

I took a bit of time to flip through the pages of Culture Magazine, a magazine dedicated to all things cheese.  There were some great recipes filling the pages, but one really caught my attention.  It featured acorn squash, which I love, stuffed with a sausage and vegetable stuffing.  It was topped with Havarti cheese, a variety that I had never tried.

 

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I made a few small changes to the original recipe.

My recipe calls for quinoa instead of wheat berries and uses kale leaves instead of swiss chard.  The result is a rustic and delicious treat, perfect for serving on those cold winter days.

I don’t typically do product blog posts, but I chose to here because I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious cheeses from Rumiano and would recommend them to anyone.  I also love the fact that the cheese is certified organic and GMO free and comes from grass fed cows.

A special thanks to the people at Rumiano Fine Natural Cheese for the smorgasbord of deliciousness they sent my way!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Havarti Cheese
serves 8

1 cup tricolor quinoa, uncooked, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups, packed, finely chopped kale leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
4 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed
6 oz. Rumiano Havarti Cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut each acorn squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds and any threadlike pulp.  Brush the flesh side of the squash with a bit of water.  Place the squash face down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 60-75 minutes.  This will vary greatly depending on the size of the squash.  Test doneness by piercing with a fork; it should easily go through.

Meanwhile, place the quinoa and water into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Set aside.

In a skillet saute the diced onion and olive oil for 5-7 minutes.  Add in the minced garlic, chopped kale leaves, and garlic salt.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.  Set aside.

Cook the sausage in the skillet.  Break apart the sausage into fine crumbles.  Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through.  Drain.

Stir together the quinoa, vegetable saute, and cooked sausage.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the acorn squash from the oven.  Carefully turn them over.  Fill each half with the quinoa mixture.  Sprinkle the top of each with a generous amount of shredded Havarti cheese.  Return the squash to the oven (350 degrees) for
7 – 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Remove from the oven.  Serve immediately.

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