Vegetarians will be fighting off the carnivores over this delicious, hearty entrée.
Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes
3 tablespoons cold expeller pressed olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 organic onion, finely chopped
2 organic garlic cloves, minced
1 organic fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
12 ounces organic mushrooms, at least one-third shiitake (remaining can be crimini, button, or exotic), sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup whole wheat or other whole grains bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
4 organic delicata squash, halved length wise, seeds removed; cut a long thin slice from back (careful not to cut all the way through) to keep them stable while cooking
Freshly grated black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until onions colour slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute, until fragrant. Add fennel seed and chopped fennel and continue cooking until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms, season with ¾ teaspoon of salt and freshly grated pepper to taste. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Fold in pine nuts and herbs, turn off heat, and cool slightly in pan.
2. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Fold half of breadcrumb/cheese into mushroom mixture.
3. Place squash halves on a rimmed cookie sheet lined parchment paper and season squash with remaining salt and pepper. Fill each squash with mushroom stuffing, top with remaining bread crumbs/cheese mixture, and drizzle with oil olive. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash are tender and tops are golden. Serve hot or at room temperature.