Mushroom & Cheddar Polenta Stuffed Squash

I guess it's Fall now. I have broken out the gourds and the oven warming the house is no longer a nightmare. So a combination of the 2 would only be right for a fall time dish, right? This twist on a stuffed vegetable is a much needed change from a stuffed bell pepper or tomato. If you have never cooked polenta before, prepare for an arm workout. The constant stirring is a bit tedious, and really prevents any picture taking, but creamy cheddar polenta is worth it! If you can't find polenta, coarse ground corn meal works well, and cooks much faster. So bring on the yellow leaves and cool nights, because cooking winter squash is now acceptable. 

Mushroom & Cheddar Polenta Stuffed Squash
1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup polenta or corn meal
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mushrooms
3 green onions
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small butternut squash or large acorn squash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Slice squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and place cut side up in a baking dish. Brush lightly with olive oil and cover tightly with foil. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. 

While squash is cooking start on your polenta. First mince garlic and chop mushrooms, and add to a small pan along with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute until mushrooms release their liquid. Remove from heat and stir in sliced green onions. 

In a small pot bring chicken or vegetable stock to a boil. Slowly add polenta or cornmeal whisking quickly to prevent clumps. Cook according to direction until polenta is done, remove from heat and whisk is cheese and mushroom mixture. 

Remove squash from oven and spoon polenta into the holes where seeds used to be. Place back into oven, and bake uncovered for 15-20 more minutes, or until squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork. 

Sprinkle with parsley, more cheese, or breadcrumbs and enjoy this delicious Fall dish!

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