Eatwell Farmhouse recipe inspired by Katherine Sacks’ recipe for Vegeducken

1 Butternut Squash

2 cups dried bread cubes

2 - 3 TB Butter or good Oil 

2 Leeks, chopped 

1/4 cup chopped Fennel

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped Celery

1 cup Veggie Stock

2 TB chopped Parsley

Fresh Sage, chopped to taste

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1/3 cup Pecans or Walnuts, chopped - optional

1 Apple, chopped - optional

1 Persimmon, chopped - optional

4 good sized leaves of Chard

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds.  Rub with a bit of olive oil, place on a baking sheet and pop into the oven.  Bake until it is just becoming a bit soft, about 20 minutes.  While the squash is doing its thing, heat the butter or oil in a large skillet, then add the leeks, fennel, garlic, celery and parsley.  Cook on medium heat until somewhat soft. Then add nuts and fruit, if using, then mix well and cook another 2 minutes on medium high.  Add the cubed bread and 1 cup vegetable stock, mix well and cook on low until the bread absorbs most of the liquid.  While this is happening you can put the chard leaves over the top of the skillet to soften them.  Every few minutes turn them over and switch them around so they all get a chance to be close to the heat.  You don’t want to cook the chard, just soften the leaves.  Alternatively you can bring a skillet of water to simmer and put the whole leaves in the hot water and swish around to soften, using the stem to hold on to.   When the squash is somewhat softened, remove from the oven.  Once you can handle it (I used paper towel to hold on) scoop out some of the meat so you have a nice channel to set your stuffed chard leaves into.  Use the scooped out squash meat in another dish. Put two of the chard leaves (stacked on top of one another) on a work surface and spoon half the stuffing onto one side, running the stuffing length wise down the leaves   You are going to chop off the stems but for now they make it easier to work with the leaves. Roll as tight as you can and place into the channel of the squash.  Repeat with the remaining two leaves and stuffing. Put the two halves of stuffed squash back together and tie tightly with cooking twine.  Cut the stems off; scissors make this quite easy.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop back into the oven.  Bake until the squash is completely cooked, about 50 minutes (depending on how much you cooked your squash in the beginning).  

* A Few Notes.  I made this for dinner tonight and it was really delicious.  Clearly I don’t have time to make it again before this needs to get into the newsletter, but one thing I would do differently is wrap the entire stuffed squash in foil and bake for 30 minutes wrapped, then 30 minutes unwrapped.  I think it would be an improvement as the chard got a little crispy in a few spots (although I enjoyed that).  I would trim the stuffed chard bits that stick out of the ends AFTER baking.  Because I was focusing on this recipe I didn’t make anything else; Nigel and I ate it with butter melting over the top.  A hearty mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and cranberry sauce would make this a truly wonderful vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast.