For most, the holiday season is full of rich meats and seafood alike. For vegetarians, it may not be so fun. So for those (vegetarians) I am stuffing acorn squash with a simple rye bread stuffing laced with spinach and other goodies we like in a stuffing. This recipe goes out to Joey Crocitto, a vegetarian from Brewster, N.Y., who loves to eat good food.Stuffed Acorn Squash w/Spinach
3 yellow acorn squash, halved and seeded8 cups torn, stale rye bread½ stick butter2 tablespoons olive oil2 cups diced celery½ cup diced shallot3 garlic cloves, minced10 oz. fresh baby spinach1 cup half and half1 cup vegetable broth1/3 cup white wine3 eggs½ cup chopped fresh parsley2 tablespoons chopped fresh sagepinch or 2 crushed red pepper flakes (optional)½ cup dried cherries (optional)Brush halved squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.In a medium skillet melt butter with the two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add celery and cook for five minutes or so. Add shallots and garlic and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together half and half, vegetable broth, wine and eggs. Place torn bread in a large bowl and pour liquid mixture over the bread. Toss well and allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb liquid.Add cooked vegetables to stuffing. Use same skillet to cook down fresh spinach (in batches) then add spinach to stuffing. Toss in parsley, sage, and either crushed red pepper or dried cherries. Taste your stuffing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Scoop stuffing into acorn squash halves creating a mound emerging from squash.Place squash in a roasting pan and add about 1 inch of water to the pan. Bake squash at 350 for 90 minutes or until squash is cooked throughout. The size of the squash and your oven may alter the cooking time a bit.Serve the halved squash as an entree or cut it down to compliment meat or poultry.This yummy stuffing will even stand up on its own.