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Artichoke & Cheese Stuffed Squash

two large acorn squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 oz mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
8 oz canned, quartered artichoke hearts (NOT marinated)
1 rib celery, finely diced
4 scallions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 oz Italian fontina, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup dry breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 .

Cut squashes in half horizontally and place each half cut-side down
in baking pans at least two-inches deep which have been oiled
lightly on the bottom. Add about one-half inch of boiling water
to pan. Bake at 375 until very soft but not altogether mushy when
tested with a sharp knife, about 45 minutes to one hour depending
on size of squash.

Prepare filling while squashes bake. Drain artichokes, rinse, and
chop coarsely. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet
over medium heat. Add mushrooms, artichoke hearts and celery and
saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add scallions,
garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, sage and soy sauce and continue to
cook another 3 minutes.
Add pepper and stir. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cheeses
until melted and combined. Stir in breadcrumbs, adding up to 4
tablespoons water until well moistened and combined.

Remove squash from oven. Remove from pan and place cut-side up on
cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut a thin slice from
the bottom of each squash half (if necessary) to allow them to sit
flat. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard.

Fill squash cavities with stuffing mixture, distributing evenly
among four squash halves. Place squash halves, stuffing-side up,
in an oiled baking pan big enough to hold them. If not baking
immediately, refrigerate until about 30 minutes before serving.

Bake in 375 F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until hot. If taking from
refrigerator, this will take 30-40 minutes. Cut each piece into
quarters to serve


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