3-1/2 cups water
1 cup wild rice blend
3 (10- to 12-ounce) orange acorn squash,
cut into halves and seeded
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage leaves
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons cranberries
3 Tablespoons hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
Bring the water and wild rice to a boil in a large heavy saucepan; reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the rice is tender; drain. Remove the rice to a large bowl.
Arrange the squash halves cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender; reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Let stand until cool. Scoop out the squash pulp carefully, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Place the pulp in a small bowl.
Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter for 15 minutes or until very tender. Stir in the sage. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the wild rice, squash pulp and lemon juice, mixing well and breaking up the squash pulp into smaller pieces. Stir in 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup hazelnuts, parsley and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
Mound the rice mixture evenly in the reserved shells. You may prepare up to this point 6 hours in advance and store, covered, in the refrigerator. Arrange the shells in a roasting pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through. Remove the stuffed shells to a serving platter. Sprinkle with 3 Tablespoons cranberries and 3 Tablespoons hazelnuts. If time is of the essence, pierce the squash with a fork and microwave for about 10 minutes or until tender.