I had bought this big turban squash originally as an autumn decoration- I just thought it was pretty, and had no idea whether it is normally eaten. Then the time for pumpkins, gourds and bales of hay passed, and the squash was still looking fabulous. I thought it would be a shame to throw it out if it hadn't gone past it's prime. So I googled "stuffed turban squash recipes"... and only came up with one. Aaaand it was a no-go, being primarily stuffed with sausage. So, I came up with my own, and as large as the dish came out, we demolished it and my husband was asking for more. I would say that is a success!
I used adzuki beans as that's what I had on hand. They are often used in Japanese cooking, both in savory dishes and desserts. They work well with the sweetness of the brown sugar, cranberries, carrots, and the flesh from the squash. This made a lot of extra stuffing, about double what I needed. Fine by me- it just means one less meal to cook later if you freeze or refrigerate it.
Also, I didn't have any chestnuts or hazelnuts, but I think roasting some, roughly chopping them, and throwing them into the mix would be awesome.
Stuffed Turban Squash
1 large turban squash- I think mine was about 4 pounds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups wild rice
1 cup adzuki beans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used my own, ground up from stale sourdough bread)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut off top of squash (like you would a pumpkin) and scoop out the stringy flesh and seeds. (I just threw the seeds out this time, but you could roast them the way you would butternut squash or pumpkin seeds.) Place the squash cut side down on an oiled baking pan. Roast for an hour or until flesh is tender. Scoop out the flesh and set aside.
3. Rinse beans and rice and put it all in a large pot. (Check beans for stones.) Cover with enough water to boil (about 6 cups.) Boil until both rice and beans are cooked. Drain off any excess water.
4. In a skillet, saute the onion and carrots in the coconut oil on high until onion is translucent and carrot is tender. Add 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and stir to coat, allowing the mixture to caramelize slightly.
5. Toss the rice, beans, scooped squash flesh, carrot/onion mixture, cranberries, salt, pepper and the remainder of the brown sugar until just combined. Scoop the mixture back into the empty squash. Top with breadcrumbs, and place the top of the turban back on. Put the whole monster back in the oven for a half hour, again at 350 degrees.
Any excess stuffing can be placed alongside the squash if there is room, or in a separate oven-safe pan. I froze whatever didn't fit for later. Good thing, even both kids ate this without me pleading- that's hard to come by!