I’m always on the look out for fun new apps to try when we have people over. The problem with having a big tray of appetizers out to nibble on before dinner is I usually end up filling up on the snacks and I’m not hungry for dinner! I mean who can resist a cheese and charcuterie board?! This app is much lighter and slightly healthier then a basket of bread and crackers and you won’t fill up before you sit down for the meal. This would be perfect before Easter brunch or dinner this weekend! Added bonus, this appetizer is gluten free and I am always trying to think of yummy apps that are gluten free! One of my favorites are these smoked salmon and cucumber rounds with Boursin cheese (they are always a big hit!) So it turns out I might have a slight obsession with Boursin Cheese and this appetizer is proof of that! Find some delicious ripe pears at the store and serve them along side this cheese, its heaven on Earth!
- 3 ripe pears
- 1 container Garlic and Fine Herb Boursin Cheese
- Wash, core and slice the pears (leave the skin on). Remove Boursin from its foil and place on a platter with the pears around it.
Last weekend I was longing for a little piece of home, so I decided to open one of my favorite cook books from Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. This is the ultimate cook book- every recipe looks/is amazing. It’s the perfect collection of recipes for every season from restaurants and locals all over the island. I had some delicious looking acorn squash from the market in the fridge and this recipe seemed perfect! Its vegetarian (and vegan) but the hearty wheat berries fill you up and it makes great leftovers the next day! It makes enough for 8 people but you could easily cut the recipe in half or cook less squash and save the rice salad for another meal (that’s what I did!) Enjoy!
- 4 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 cup cooked wheat berries
- 1 cup roasted pears
- 1/4 cup canola oil, divided
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1/3 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast seeded and halved squash cut side down for 30-40 minutes.
While squash is roasting cook wild rice and wheat berries according to package directions. I got the wheat berries from the bulk section at whole foods which is the easiest way to find wheat berries. I brought a pot of salted water to boil and put the rinsed wheat berries in to cook for 1 hour or until tender.
Once squash is soft, cut pears into large dice and toss with 1/8 cup canola oil. Roast on a sheet tray about 20 minutes. (I didn’t add cinnamon to the pears but I think it would be a great addition and add some flavor- just a dash or two).
Saute shallot in rest of oil over medium heat. Pour apple cider in with shallots, cooking and stirring to deglaze pan.
Mix rice, berries, roasted pears and cranberries into shallot mix. Salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff each squash with filling and serve.
I served the stuffed squash with a simple salad of arugula, toasted almonds, blue cheese crumbs and apple slices tossed with balsamic dressing.
Sunflowers make everything better!