pistachio berry basmati & roasted acorn squash

In baking, brunch, culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, leftovers, lunch, vegan, vegetarian on 05.08.11 at 10:34 am

ok, i admit it — i’m one of those annoying people who just has to take a foto of my food before i eat it. ;)

i like to think of food as an artform. next to taste, presentation is just as important in making a dish really sing and ‘look the part’. i got my love of food & cooking from my mom (love you! xo) and food styling is something that i started learning at an early age in my mom’s kitchen, helping her prepare for family dinners and holiday buffets. cooking & food styling is something that i continue to enjoy — whether i’m hosting a dinner party, packing a lunchbox, or whipping up a quick meal before i dash out the door.

here’s an example of one of those quick meals (made with love) before dashing out the door… inspired by a previous yumyumyummers recipe for stuffed acorn squash, i put together a random assortment of ingredients from my (almost-but-not-quite-empty) fridge and well-stocked pantry of nuts, spices & dried fruit. check it out…

– preheat oven to 350F (for roasting the squash)

the basmati:
– add 1 cup uncooked brown rice basmati & 2 cups water to small pot. bring to boil.
– stir a few times and reduce to medium heat. simmer for 30-35min with cover, until water is absorbed into grains.
– allow to cool for a few min. fluff with fork. set aside.

cinnamon sunflower glaze:
whisk together the following ingredients in a small prep bowl:
– 1.5 tbsp sunflower oil
– 1/2 tsp ground black peppercorns
– dash of ground cinnamon

roasted acorn squash:
– 1 acorn squash (cut in half, seeded)

(tip: reserve squash seeds and roast them on a baking sheet at the same time as the squash. see previous yumyumyummers recipe for roasted acorn squash seeds.)

lightly grease baking pan w/ extra-virgin olive oil (evoo), if roasting seeds along with the squash
– brush cinnamon sunflower glaze (see above) generously on cut sides of squash with a pastry brush
– place squash halves (cut sides down) in baking pan
– roast squash for 20min at 350F. remove from oven. allow to cool on cooling rack while preparing basmati stuffing.

fruit & nut flavours:
combine & gently fold the following ingredients into medium prep bowl:
– 3 cups cooked brown rice basmati
– 1/4 cup crushed pistachios (deshelled, crushed in mortar & pestle. reserve some pistachios for topping.)
– 1/2 tsp whole green cardamon seeds (crushed in mortar & pestle)
– 1/4 cup dried pomegranates
– 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
– dash of ground black peppercorns
– lightly dust & fold-in ground cinnamon

food styling:
– place each roasted acorn squash half into soup bowl
– generously stuff squash w/ pistachio berry basmati
– sprinkle topping of crushed pistachios
– lightly dust w/ ground cinnamon
(tip: use a small mesh strainer for a more ‘dusted’ effect. or if you don’t have one, just sprinkle cinnamon using your fingers.)

leftover redux:
– perk up leftover basmati stuffing w/ bell peppers… check out the previous yumyumyummers recipe for quinoa pepper sushi rolls (swap out the quinoa for pistachio berry basmati to make colourful, sweet sushi!)
– or, add the pistachio berry basmati on a bed of organic baby spinach to make a nice, hearty salad for lunch the next day

  1. Even those squash look beautiful. Great recipe and styling as always.


    • thanks! i think the vibrant colours of the berries & pistachios really make the dish pop! and who doesn’t like a little sprinkle of cinnamon for good measure? :)


  2. What a decadent squash. Great combination of flavours.
    :-) Mandy


    • thanks, mandy! i guess it’s pretty obvious that i have a sweet tooth… most people prepare squash with savory flavours, and i try to add nuts & sweet berries to recipes whenever i can. :)


  3. I’m the exact same way when I make food! My family and friends know by now that they’re going to have to wait a few minutes to eat until I am satisfied with my presentation and pictures. :)


  4. […] pistachio berry basmati & roasted acorn squash […]


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