Stuffed Acorn Squash with Barley
from Virtuous Daughters, July 2013~Volume 13, Number 4
Preheat oven to 400. Brush the cut sides of the squash with one tsp. Olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay cut-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 45-55 minutes or until soft. When done, increase oven temperature to 450. Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the barley (or whatever you chose to use) and 1/4 tsp. Salt. Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain and scrape into a bowl. Wipe out the saucepan and add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and the onion. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, fennel, thyme, and coriander and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, stir in the cooked barley, 3/4 c. cheese, parsley, walnuts, and butter. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Flip the roasted squash over and scoop out the flesh leaving a 1/8 inch thickness of flesh in each shell. Gently fold the squash flesh into the barley mixture, then mound the mixture into the squash shells. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 c. cheese and bake until cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve
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