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Acorn squash stuffed with ground turkey


4 medium acorn squash

Olive oil (for sprinkling)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/4 pounds ground dark-meat turkey

1 small onion, finely chopped

8 saltine crackers, crumbled

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 can (15 to 16 ounces) whole peeled canned tomatoes, pureed

Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

With a paring knife, carefully cut the squash lengthwise in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut a 1/4-inch-thick slice off the bottom of each half so the squashes sit without rocking.

Set the halves, cut sides up, on the baking sheet. Place 1/2 cup of water at the bottom of the sheet. Sprinkle the squash with oil, salt, and pepper. Cover loosely with foil, shiny side down.

Roast the squash for 30 minutes or until the flesh is starting to soften.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the turkey, onion, and crackers. Work the turkey mixture with your hands until it is thoroughly combined.

In another bowl, combine the mustard, sugar, vinegar, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Add half of this tomato sauce to the turkey mixture and mix well. Fill the squash cavities with the turkey mixture.

Top the squash with the remaining tomato sauce. Continue roasting the squash, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the turkey mixture registers 165 degrees.

Serve at once, setting 2 squash halves on each of 4 plates.

Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

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