Forget slicing or carving at the table with this vegetarian holiday recipe. Each serving is an entire carnival squash, making for an easy and beautifully presented main dish. If you'll be pressed for time when cooking, you can easily make a batch ahead and bake just before serving. Seek out a butternut squash with a long neck; this will help you create long, even strips for the veggie lattice topping. If you can’t find prechopped onion, carrot, and celery mix, chop 1/2 cup of each vegetable instead.
6 ounces sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups pre-chopped fresh onion, carrot, and celery mix
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup unsalted vegetable stock
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (16-oz.) small carnival squash or acorn squash
1 medium, long butternut squash
1 teaspoon honey
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Place bread cubes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Remove from oven and let cool at least 5 minutes.
Heat butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture and sage to pan; cook 4-5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Combine stock and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add bread, onion mixture, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper; toss to coat and let stand 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring after 5 minutes.
Cut top ¼ off carnival squash. With a spoon, scrape out and discard seeds and pith; leaving a ¾-inch edge inside squash. Cut thin slice from bottom of squash so they sit flat and level. Divide bread mixture evenly among squash. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
While squash bakes, cut entire neck of butternut squash from bulb, reserving bulb for another use. Cut neck in half lengthwise; reserve one half for another use. Place remaining neck half, cut side down, on cutting board. Cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slabs. Using a vegetable peeler, cut ribbons from flesh side of each slab.
Combine remaining 11 /2 teaspoons oil and honey in a small bowl. Arrange 12 squash ribbons in a lattice design (6 horizontal ribbons and 6 vertical ribbons) on a cutting board or work surface. Repeat 3 more times to build 4 lattice tops. After squash has baked until tender, carefully transfer each lattice to top each squash (use a fish spatula or thin metal spatula to lift lattice). Using scissors, trim edges of lattice so the overhang measures about 1 inch. Brush lattices with honey mixture. Sprinkle lattices evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes.