Kale and Wild Rice–Stuffed Winter Squash


  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeded

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup wild rice

  • 1 shallot, chopped fine

  • 6 kale leaves, ribs removed and leaves chopped fine

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

  2. Rub a bit of oil inside the squash and season with salt and pepper. Place the acorn squash cut sides down on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, 1 3/4 cups of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

  4. Swirl a bit of oil in a medium skillet and heat it over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the kale and sauté just until the leaves begin to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked rice, Dijon, and lemon zest and stir to mix well. Cook for 2 minutes more, adding some oil if the rice seems too dry. Stir in the parsley, walnuts, and Pecorino Romano.

  5. Remove the squash from the oven. Spoon the rice filling into each half and serve hot.