Beef, Apple & Herb-Stuffed Butternut Squash
by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska
- 3 small butternut squash, halved lengthwise*
- Canola oil, as needed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 pound Certified Piedmontese 85% lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon dark chili powder
- 3 small apples, cored and diced
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
*To make slicing easier, pierce skin of each whole squash several times and cook in a microwave for two to three minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400°F. With a large spoon, scoop the seeds from each squash half, then carefully hollow the middle of each half, including the neck. Reserve the shavings. In a large skillet over medium heat, add canola oil, onion, beef, and chili powders and cook for about 10 minutes, until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Meanwhile, brush the squash halves with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer the squash halves to a baking sheet and bake, skin-side down, for 20 minutes.
To the beef mixture, add the reserved squash shavings, apples, and vinegar and cook for another ten minutes. Remove from heat and add the parmesan, herbs, and lemon zest and mix well. Spoon the beef and apple mixture into the hollowed halves, transfer to the oven, and bake for another 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped herbs.