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Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash with Pomegranate & Wild Rice

Stuffed squash is one of the easiest dinners you can put together out of your CSA box, and I often make them on a weeknight.  While the squash halves are roasting there is plenty of time to put together a grain or protein based filling.  I dressed these beautiful dumplings with pomegranates, goat cheese, and wild rice.  The colors are really festive so this would be a great addition to any holiday meal as a side dish or vegetarian main.  There is also plenty you can do ahead to prep these before the day of a big meal.  I made the wild rice in a rice cooker and roasted the squash the night before I put together the filling.  Rinse the squash of any dirt, dry off and split and half.  Once you scoop out the seeds sprinkle with olive oil and salt and roast cut side down.

Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash with Wild Rice & Pomegranate

I used one half of a pomegranate for this.  There are lots of videos and discussions out there about de-seeding a pomegranate, but I just cut it in half and pull out the seeds with my fingers.  It really doesn’t take long and is only semi messy.  If you have a better method feel free to use it!

Sweet Dumpling Squash with Wild Rice & Pomegranate

I was lucky to have some pure wild rice on hand-a gift from Minnesota!  Any whole grain would work here, I also think spelt or farro would taste great.I really love the pomegranate here, and the earthiness of fresh herbs perfectly balances it in a savory dish.  If you don’t have pomegranates on hand or would prefer something else, try dried cranberries or currants.

Sweet Dumpling Squash with Wild Rice & Pomegranates

Sweet Dumpling Squash with Wild Rice, Pomegranate & Goat Cheese

4 Sweet Dumpling Squash
1 cup wild rice
1/2 onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 pomegranate seeded
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for cooking)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt + pepper

Roast Squash. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Wash and dry squash.  Cut in half, scoop out seeds.  Drizzle cut side of squash with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt + pepper.  Roast at 400 F for about 25-30 minutes until a fork easily slides through skin, but not so long it collapses.  Reserve. Keep oven on.

Make Filling. Cook wild rice according to package directions, let cool.  (cooling off the rice and then reheating it will keep the grains of rice from getting sticky.  Make the night ahead or quick cool in the freezer)  Saute minced onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.  When onion is translucent add thyme leaves and wild rice.  Sprinkle with salt + pepper stirring frequently until rice is evenly reheated.  Meanwhile whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, and mustard.  Once rice is heated throughout remove from heat.  Add dressing, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.  Taste and adjust salt + pepper if necessary.

Assemble. Carefully fill each squash half with 1/2 cup of filling.  Top each squash half with about 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese and more parsley if desired.  Return to oven and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

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