Modern Love Brooklyn’s Isa Chandra Moskowitz Gives Us Her Recipe for Winter Squash Cups

She recently moved home to open the brand-new vegan restaurant in Williamsburg.

Courtesy Little, Brown.

In this latest book, the subtitle tells the whole truth: The big guys are covered (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas), but so are St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl. Courtesy Little, Brown.

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan pro or someone who frets whenever a vegetarian is coming over for dinner, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbooks should be on your shelves. From the classic Vegan with a Vengeance to Veganomicon to the brand-new The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion, she has made vegan cooking easy, accessible and fun. In this latest book, the subtitle tells the whole truth: The big guys are covered (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas), but so are St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl. If you want menu-planning inspiration for any season, it’s got you.

Isa recently moved back home to Brooklyn after some time spent in Omaha to open her restaurant Modern Love Brooklyn. “I missed winter evenings walking around in the city streets with the smell of toasting (or, ok, burning) pretzels in the cold air,” she says. With the appreciation of that signature city scent in mind, make these Winter Squash Cups—from the Thanksgiving chapter in her new book—and stay warm.

Winter squash cups with wild rice, hazelnuts and cherries

Serves 6
Total: 1 Hour
Active: 25 minutes

For the squash:
3 round winter squash (see tip), halved and seeded
olive oil, for brushing salt

For the wild rice:
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
3 cups vegetable broth, purchased or homemade
½ teaspoon salt

For the filling:
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
3 celery ribs, sliced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried sage
1 cup shelled hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
¾ cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Roast the squash and make the rice: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly coat the squash with olive oil inside and out and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place the squash, cut-side down, on the lined baking sheet. Bake until the flesh is soft and can easily be pierced by a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it hang out until the filling is ready.

At the same time, cook the wild rice according to the package directions, using the vegetable broth and
salt.

When the squash and rice are done, prepare the filling: Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Heat the coconut oil, then sauté the onion and celery until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and sage. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and toss in the cooked wild rice, hazelnuts, and dried cherries. Add the brown sugar and chopped parsley and stir to combine. Add the salt and a few grinds of black pepper and adjust to taste.

Fill each squash half with ½ to ¾ cup of the rice mixture and serve.

Tip: Look for round squash that are a little bigger than a softball. To cut a squash in half lengthwise, start just to the right of the stem and cut on a slight diagonal, ending just to the left of the bottom nub.

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Alicia is the associate editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn.