Pumpkin Party: Lentil-stuffed Acorn Squash + Crispy King Oyster Bacon

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

Yesterday, I drove up to Meg’s place and struggled with five big boxes of bags, pans, products, and props!!! We giggled, let her dog Luke jump on us, tasted an awesome challah bread pudding we’re serving on Saturday, and basically made a huge checklist of everything we have yet to do. Friends, this is the week! I’ll be headed up to New Hampshire at the end of the week with some awesome people for the workshop!!! I’m super excited, and all our our ducks are (finally) in a row. Welcome bags collected, lessons planned, activities lined up, menus set and groceries bought – I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and basking in everything Tamworth, New Hampshire has to offer. I fully expect to fill up on sourdough bread and mushrooms – not a bad combination right? But before this workshop, I’m so happy to participate in this lovely virtual pumpkin party, put on by the talented Sara from Cake Over Steak! Have you seen her illustrations? Because you really should. This party actually came at the perfect time – I was planning and testing this stuffed acorn squash, because I’m serving it at our workshop!!

I’m head over heels for this kabocha galette, pumpkin spice japanese cheesecake, risotto + crispy prosciutto, and pumpkin polenta + goat cheese + mushrooms!!!! See everyone’s delicious contributions to #VIRTUALPUMPKINPARTY

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

This is a really simple dish – roasted acorn squash halves with butter + maple syrup stuffed with lentils tossed with caramelized onions, apple, rosemary, and pomegranate, finally topped with crushed pistachios and crisped up king oyster bacon!!!!! What’s missing in this description? The melty Cremont hiding within the stuffing – this is the star of this dish and brings it all together. Right when the acorn squash is removed from the oven, I put in thick chunks of Vermont Creamery’s Cremont, an aged goat and cow milk cheese, letting it melt right into the acorn squash. Then comes the lentils and everything else. What you get in the end is bites of squash, lentils, and a creamy, melty filling of Cremont. So. Good. Crispy king oyster bacon is actually a mushroom, thinly sliced and fried until crispy. It was featured in this mushroom bowl post, and I’ve been using this technique ever since.

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.comLentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.comLet’s talk about the acorn squash first. It’s roasted until it’s tender and soft. The butter and maple syrup you initially put in will be there in a nice melted puddle. At that point, use a fork to swirl it around and up the sides to spread that buttery maple-ness around. Then, immediately put in your chunks of Cremont.StuffedAcornSquash | bettysliu-1-3

StuffedAcornSquash | bettysliu-5

Top with your prepared lentil filling. Pile it up until it overflows. Sprinkle pistachios and crispy king oyster bacon, and serve hot!!!! Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.comLentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash | bettysliu.com

By the way, this post is not sponsored by Vermont Creamery. I just discovered this and have been obsessed with this cheese!!

Plates: farmhouse pottery / wooden utensils and scoops: apple doesn’t fall / linens: the modern proper

RECIPE: Lentil-stuffed Acorn Squash with Crispy King Oyster and Melty Cremont
Serves 4

2 acorn squashes, cut lengthwise in half
1 cups dried lentils (or 2 cups cooked)
2 cups water or broth
2 apples, diced
½ medium onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp maple syrup for each acorn half
1/2 tbsp butter for each acorn half
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup crushed pistachios
4 slices Cremont (aged goat and cow milk cheese)

Cook Lentils

1| Bring dried lentils, 2 cups water, and pinch of sea salt to a boil. Lower heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 35-40 minutes, until lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed.

Acorn Squash

1| Preheat oven to 375.
2| Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds
3| Place maple syrup and butter in the middle of each acorn squash half
4| Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes, until soft.
5| In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan. Add in onions and cook until caramelized. Add in rosemary and apples and cook for 3-4 minutes
6| Combine in a large bowl with lentils, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds.
7| Remove acorn squash from oven, use a fork to scrape around and up the sides inside to mix the butter and maple syrup. Immediately place a slice of Cremont in each half to let it melt.
8| Add stuffing mixture and serve, topping with king oyster bacon and pistachios and aged goat cheese.

King oyster bacon

1|n a wide heavy bottomed skillet, cook thin strips of king oyster mushroom in one layer until crispy. Flip and cook until crispy. Place strips on a paper towel lined plate and let sit – it will turn crispy!

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  • You take such elegant photos, and I’m in love with each one of them! This sounds so great for the season. My roommate and I bought acorn squash last week and had tons of fun cracking it open (they were HUGE). Looks like we’ll have to go to the store again for more since I have to make these now!!ReplyCancel

  • Best of luck to you guys, though you won’t need it. What a delicious dish. I’ve been using acorn squash for a long time and it’s nice to see you highlight it here. It’s a squash that needs more spotlight. This reminds me a little of an ottelenghi recipe that I love. It’s the perfect pallette for rich, fall ingredients. I love your mix of earthy and salty, tempered by sweet pomegranate. Just lovely. Beautiful photos as always.ReplyCancel

  • Wonderful recipe + photos! I’d love to try making stuffed pumpkin, but I’ve never come across acorn squash here where I live so we’ll see. The filling sounds so good!
    And good luck with the workshop! Hopefully we’ll read about it :)ReplyCancel

  • So much love for this post. I am obsessed with these stuffed cutie squash masterpieces. And cremont sounds like it’s gonna be my favorite new cheese! Gotta grab some stat. That wooden fork is the coolest and you of course make it look extra adorbs!!ReplyCancel

  • Very beautiful and wholesome recipe, Betty! I’m in love with that fork by the way~~ ^-^ReplyCancel

  • Ooooooh these gorgeous globes of yum! And so many deep hues. Totally want this on my dinner table tonight, B. That pomegranate just gets me right in the heart strings.ReplyCancel

  • Good luck with the workshop, Betty! You work your tail off so I’m sure it will go smoothly. I’m excited to read about it to.
    I’m also so excited to read this recipe!! It sounds freaking amazing. I would make that filling even if it wasn’t squash season. Yummers!! Your photos are ace too. Kudos, lady.ReplyCancel

  • I have so many things to say. Firstly, huge congrats to you and Meg for all of the awesome workshops you’re putting together. I kind of wish I lived on the east coast so I could attend one and learn your tips and tricks to photography! These photos are beyond stunning. Second, it’s clearly been too long since I’ve visited but I’m LOVING the site redesign. The photos that scroll through at the top of the homepage are some of my favorites. Finally, king. oyster. bacon. My heart just leapt in happiness. I am going to try this technique (hopefully this whole dish) very very soon, I just know it.ReplyCancel

  • Vermont creamery is the BEST. I like to use their butter when I’m making something extra fancy–cause that butter sure isn’t cheap! Wishing you the best of luck and fun at your workshop this weekend<3ReplyCancel

  • Wow! This looks incredible. Just incredible. I am always so impressed with your photos, Betty. Wishing you success with your weekend workshop! I wish I was coming. There is so much I could learn form you.ReplyCancel

  • Betty, this recipe looks AMAZING. All 70+ recipes in this virtual party were incredible, but I think yours might be my favorite. I love the beautiful flavours and textures you have going on here. Just stunning. Congrats on the workshop! I wish I could attend. Hopefully one day :) Your photography is simply stunning. Amazing work. <3ReplyCancel

  • Ohhh Betty, this photographs are just so dreamy. I can’t stop looking at them. Love, love!!!ReplyCancel

  • This is so beautiful and everything I love about fall Betty! I hope you had the best time at your workshop – I’ve loved your insta pics! And all that sourdough. If I had been there it would have been “HOLD.ME.BACK.” <3ReplyCancel

  • Such beautiful photography, Betty! I love your stuffed squash too, they would make a lovely vegetarian main course for Christmas Day! <3ReplyCancel

  • OMG this sounds OFF THE HOOK. And I seriously cannot get enough of your gorgeous photography. You’re a magician!!!! I’m so sad we didn’t realize we were near each other up in the Boston area until it was too late. It would have been so nice to meet up!!!! Hopefully one day. Thanks for this gorgeous addition to the pumpkin party. xoxoReplyCancel

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