Winter Squash Cups with Wild Rice, Hazelnuts, & Cherries | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Winter Squash Cups with Wild Rice, Hazelnuts, & Cherries

Winter Squash Cups with Wild Rice, Hazelnuts, & Cherries

Winter Squash Cups with Wild Rice, Hazelnuts, & Cherries. Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Serves 6

30 min

1 hr

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Winter squash are nature’s pottery! Speckled, streaked, water-colored, and splattered, no two are exactly alike. A few of my favorite varieties are carnival, dumpling, and acorn squash. A stunning mix of wild rice, hazelnuts, and cherries stuffed inside adds to the beauty and the yummy.

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For the squash:

3 round winter squash (see tip), halved and seeded

olive oil, for brushing salt


For the wild rice:

1 cup wild rice, rinsed

3 cups vegetable broth, purchased or homemade (page 203)

½ teaspoon salt


For the Filling:

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil

1 large yellow onion, diced medium

3 celery ribs, sliced

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried sage

1 cup shelled hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

¾ cup dried cherries

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Roast the squash and make the rice: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly coat the squash with olive oil inside and out and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place the squash, cut-side down, on the lined baking sheet. Bake until the flesh is soft and can easily be pierced by a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it hang out until the filling is ready.

At the same time, cook the wild rice according to the package directions, using the vegetable broth and salt.

when the squash and rice are done , prepare the Filling: Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Heat the coconut oil, then sauté the onion and celery until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and sage. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and toss in the cooked wild rice, hazelnuts, and dried cherries. Add the brown sugar and chopped parsley and stir to combine. Add the salt and a few grinds of black pepper and adjust to taste.

Fill each squash half with ½ to ¾ cup of the rice mixture and serve.


Look for round squash that are a little bigger than a softball. To cut a squash in half lengthwise, start just to the right of the stem and cut on a slight diagonal, ending just to the left of the bottom nub.

Excerpted from the book The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Copyright © 2016 by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.