Sometimes we just want comfort food — something warm and filling that reminds us of homemade meals (real or imagined) and makes us feel all cozy inside. If that dish has nutritional value, say a lot of vegetables, even better. Ragout is a dish that typically has loads of vegetables and makes diners feel all warm and comforted.
This South American Squash and Vegetable Ragout from the Vegetarian Times does not disappoint. With a balance of legumes, veggies, and fruits, it can then be stuffed into a whole squash, baked, and served as a complete entrée.
- 6 dried pitted apricots
- 4 dried pitted prunes
- 6 small acorn or butternut squash
- 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for coating squash
- 1 small Spanish onion, diced (1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
- 1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved
- 1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced (1 cup)
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced (1 cup)
- ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Place apricots and prunes in bowl, and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Soak 2 hours, or overnight. Drain, and coarsely chop fruit, reserving liquid.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut circular opening in squash tops, and reserve tops. Cut small slices off bottoms of squash so they stand up straight. Scoop out and discard seeds and fiber from squash. Rub outsides of squash shells and lids with oil, and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and oregano; sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and tomatoes and juice; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add potato, sweet potato, and reserved apricot-prune soaking liquid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are almost soft. Add corn and apricot-prune mixture, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes more. Add beans, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 5 minutes more.
- Ladle 1 cup stew into each hollowed squash; place lid on top. Bake 60 to 90 minutes, or until fork can easily pierce through squash.