Acorn squash skins are quite leathery and the cooked flesh will pop out of it as you cut the wedges. Use a butter knife to help separate the skin and flesh if needed. This combo of winter squash, hearty wheat berries, toasted walnuts and blue cheese is the essence of fall. Soaking the wheat berries overnight is smart trick to help slash the cooking time in half. It’s the same principle as soaking dried beans.
- 1 cup wheat berries (soaked overnight and drained)
- 3 cups water
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 large (2 pound) acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 cups green leaf lettuce, cleaned and dried
- ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Go-To Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup pecans, toasted
- 1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
Combine wheat berries and water with a pinch of salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
While wheat berries are cooking, preheat oven to 400 F.
Place squash halves flesh side down in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 12 minutes (if your microwave doesn’t have a rotating dish, rotate the plate every 2 minutes). Remove squash (be careful of steam) to a cutting board and let cool flesh side up until cool enough to handle (1-2 minutes). Carefully cut into 1/2-inch wedges and peel off skin. Microwave the butter and syrup in a bowl for 30 seconds and stir to mix.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay the squash wedges down, brush with maple glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip and repeat on the other side. Bake for 5 minutes. Carefully flip wedges over and bake another 5-6 minutes.
While squash is cooking, mix together lettuce, scallions and drained wheat berries, and toss with vinaigrette. Divide evenly onto four plates. Top with squash wedges, pecans, crumbled blue cheese, cranberries and a twist of freshly ground black pepper.
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes