I love to incorporate this easy recipe into a meal as the main dish. Half a filled squash on its own is pretty filling, but it also pairs nicely with a salad or even rice. It takes minimal prep, but it does take awhile to cook, so plan ahead. It is perfect for this time of year when squash and good cherry tomatoes are both available. The chickpeas get crunchy on top, which is fantastic texture alongside the tender squash. The olive oil, herbs, vinegar and crushed pepper combine to make a delicious sauce to smash into the squash.
- 2 small acorn squash, about 1.5#s each, or one large squash
- 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, left whole if small or sliced in half if larger
- 4-5 sprigs oregano, picked and chopped
- 4 sprigs thyme, picked
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp crushed Aleppo pepper, or 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While heating, cut both squash in half, and scoop out and dispose seeds from center.
- Place squash halves, cut side up in a large skillet or baking dish. Drizzle 1 oz of olive oil over the cut sides of the squash, evenly. There should be a tiny pool in each squash half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Combine chickpeas, red onion, tomatoes, herbs, garlic, Aleppo pepper or chili flake, remaining 2 oz olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a mixing bowl. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Evenly distribute chickpea mixture into each half of the squash. The filling will heap in the center. Drizzle any remaining liquid in the bowl over the squash, getting some on the edges too.
- Put the skillet in the oven and roast for about an hour. The top chickpeas will get some color, and the bottoms of the squash will brown. Remove when the squash is fork tender.
Notes: The fresh herbs are lovely, but dried herbs will work in a pinch. Mama Lil’s peppers or Calabrian chilies would be fantastic in addition to, or in place of the crushed peppers.