Roasted Acorn Squash

Serves 6
6 acorn squash, top and bottom trimmed by about 1 inch
4 T olive oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
10 cloves garlic—6 smashed, 4 finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh sage
cups pearl barley
cups unsalted chicken stock
shallot, finely diced 
2  medium carrot, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 T   unsalted butter
1 small bunch chives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
With a large spoon, scoop the seeds out of each squash and discard. 
Continue scraping the insides to extract about ½ cup of the flesh from each squash. Reserve the flesh. 
Drizzle ½ tablespoon of olive oil inside each squash, then season with salt and white pepper. 
Set each squash upside down on a greased cookie sheet with a smashed garlic clove and a sprig of sage tucked underneath each cavity. 
Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce the squash's flesh without damaging the shell. Remove from the oven, turn over, and cover with foil to keep warm.
While the squash is baking, put the reserved squash flesh, barley, and chicken stock in a large saucepot and bring to a boil. Season with salt. 
Cover, reduce the heat, and let simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chopped garlic, shallot, carrot, and celery; continue cooking for 15 minutes, until the barley has the creamy consistency of risotto. 
Remove from the heat. 
And add the butter, chopped sage leaves, chives. 
Stir a few times to incorporate and adjust the seasoning. To serve, fill each roasted squash evenly with the barley mixture and garnish with the diced chives. 


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