I don’t know about you, but I am itching for this holiday season to begin! Tomorrow will be filled with tons of turkey, stuffing, new and old recipes, pumpkin pies galore, and maybe even some spiked cider or mulled wine! I can’t wait to spend time with my family and take it easy for a day. Ed and I are heading down to the suburbs to celebrate with my family. Last night I decided to test some side dish options and came up with a beautiful seasonal squash dish.
I remember trying a sample of wheat berry salad at Whole Foods a few years back. Although I wasn’t really sure what exactly a wheat berry was, I always found myself craving that salad. It’s just a small kernel of wheat and it reminds me of quinoa or couscous, only much crunchier (and in my mind more substantial). I recently realized that wheat berries are sold by bulk at many natural grocers, so I picked up a large bag not really knowing what I was going to make. As usual, I just grabbed a few ingredients here and there and threw together what looked yummy. And I must say it turned out pretty great!
Wheat berry Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn squash (cut in half, and seeds removed)
2 cups (or more) whole cooked wheat berries (just boil with enough water to cover for about 60 minutes or until tender)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (dry toast over medium heat for about 3 minutes)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (green and white parts)
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cook wheat berries as directed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cut acorn squash in half and drizzle with syrup/cinnamon combo (this really brings out the autumnal flavors). Roast for about 40 minutes or until the meat of the squash is tender. Mix all wheat berry salad ingredients together (and throw in any additional fruits or veggies you have!) and toss with olive oil and lemon juice. Once you pull the squash out of the oven spoon the mixture into you “pre-made bowls” and serve hot! So easy!
This dish is a great side dish at Thanksgiving or a holiday dinner party. Also, if you aren’t sure what to serve your vegetarian guests, this is a a great main dish as well because the protein from the wheat berries make it so filling. Alternatively, you can use this recipe as a guide for stuffing butternut squash, pumpkin, or peppers as well. The possibilities are endless… Since I am in charge of some sides for tomorrow I will share what I decide on! Any ideas? What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?