A sweet & savory side dish perfect for the holidays!
With the holidays coming around the corner there is always such a frenzy as to what you are going to eat, bring to a party or simply what the actual plan is. Usually, it always seems to sneak up last minute and you need something somewhat quick, simple, looks, and tastes delicious that can feed enough people too! This is why I love these acorn stuff rings; I filled them with brussels sprouts, spinach, pistachios, cranberries, and Sir Kensington's Spicy Brown Mustard with just a few other seasonings and they came out perfect! They were a combination of sweet and savory and pretty simple to make. I tend to make these a lot around the holidays because for leftovers, I eat them for breakfast with a fried egg or for whomever is staying with us that week.
To make this recipe even simpler I used the spicy brown mustard as my main sauce instead of making my own! I love the Sir Kensington's Spicy Brown Mustard because of the ingredients; it only has mustard seeds, Vermont maple syrup, sea salt, and a little bit of cane sugar, yet only contains 1 gram of sugar per serving! So it isn't over powerfully sweet! I also love their dijon mustard and made these amazing salmon burgers with it, see the recipe here. You can find most of their products at Whole Foods, they are all NON-GMO and made with such clean ingredients. I have a few other recipes with their products on my blog too, just give it a search (a creamy cold pasta salad, or tuna tacos with a mustard vinaigrette!)
The great thing about these acorn stuffed rings is you can really fill them with anything, serve them as a side or make them a little more hearty by adding in quinoa, lentils, or even ground turkey. The only thing that I suggest doing is before baking the acorn squash rings is brushing them with a little olive oil and a touch of maple syrup with just caramelize them adding to their sweetness and of course add in the spicy brown mustard to your stuffing mix to give them an even tangy savory sweet taste!
They make a really pretty presentation and are so good! You'll love them!
What you need:
Yields 6-8 acorn squash rings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
2 medium size acorn squash
1/4 heaping cup of Sir Kensington's Spicy Brown Mustard
1/4 cup pistachios (or any nut/seed of choice)
1/4 cup cranberries
2 cups spinach
1.5 quarts brussels sprouts
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
10 sprigs of thyme
What you need to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a backing sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Carefully cut the acorn squash into rings. I tried to cut them as evenly as possible, but it might be difficult and found that at the end it didn't matter, they still all cooked evenly through.
3. Place the acorn rings on the baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and cook for 15 minutes on one side. Flip, then continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Check, if they need more time, continue to cook until golden brown in color and soft. It will most likely be a total of 30 minutes.
4. While the acorn rings are cooking: Prepare the stuffing. In your cast iron pan or large skillet; on medium heat; add the chopped brussels sprouts with about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook until tender and they start to brown. After about 10 minutes, add the spicy brown mustard, sea salt, pepper, and any other spices of choice. Mix and continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes.
5. In the same pan, add the nuts/seeds, cranberries, and the spinach. Cook until the spinach becomes soft; just a few minutes.
Now, the acorn squash rings should be done. Take them out and begin to stuff them with the mixing above. Each ring will fit about 2 heaping spoonfuls. I then placed mine back in the oven for about 5 minutes, but that isn't necessary.
6. Drizzle with maple syrup and fresh thyme leaves.
Serve immediately. To re-heat simply put back in the oven under broiler for a few minutes or at 400 degrees until warm (10 minutes)