Looking for an easy, last-minute recipe—special enough for a Valentine’s date night at home but easy enough for a regular weeknight? Try this healthy twist on fondue, from Melissa d’Arabian, star of Food Network’s It’s Tuesday Night Somewhere and The Picky Eaters Project on FoodNetwork.com. This veggie-rich dish can be prepared as a first course or appetizer, and Melissa suggests pairing it with steak.
As for her own holiday plans, she says they’ll be low-key: “My husband buys each of our four daughters (Valentine, 14, Charlotte, 13, and twins Margaux and Océane, 11) a rose and some chocolate. It’s more family for us than a romantic holiday.” We can totally relate—and join in her enthusiasm for this cheesy dish.
Acorn Squash “Fondue”
2 acorn squash, halved, seeded, and fibers removed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, very finely chopped or pressed through a garlic press
½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
2 slices white whole wheat bread, lightly toasted and cut into ½-inch cubes
¾ cup whole milk
Pear slices (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the squash halves with half the salt and pepper, then use a basting brush to coat the squash with the mustard. Sprinkle the garlic in the squash halves, spreading it around as best you can.
- Divide half the cheese among the 4 squash halves (1 tablespoon each) and then top with the bread cubes. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and then pour the milk over the bread, dividing it evenly among the squash halves. Gently press the bread cubes into the milk to make sure they are all saturated.
- Place the squash halves in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake until the filling is golden brown and the squash is tender, about 30 minutes more.
- Serve one squash half to each person, with pear slices on the side for dipping, if desired. Be sure everyone scoops up some of the filling and squash in each bite.
PER SERVING: Calories 206 / Protein 9g / Dietary Fiber 4g / Sugars 8g / Total Fat 7g
Reprinted from Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot. Copyright © 2014 by Melissa d’Arabian. Photographs © 2014 by Tina Rupp. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House LLC.