Fall is the ultimate time of the year for comfort food: am I right? The cooler temperatures always have me craving them, as well as the various holiday get-togethers with family and friends. This week, the Sunday Supper family is teaming up with Gallo Family Vineyards for a comfort food filled event, and I’m bringing some Acorn Squash Cheese Spread with Spinach and Artichokes to the table.
There is something oh so comforting about cheese. I can’t live without it. Melty, gooey, creamy cheese is one of those food items that I live for and always ends up finding its way into my favorite dishes. Of course, cheese happens to be an essential element of my recipe today. I’ve combined the comforting embrace of dairy goodness with a favorite fall squash. With spinach and artichokes added into the mix, the end result is a creamy, luscious mixture that is perfect to spread all over a slice of crusty baguette. Or two. Or three. It’s a fabulous appetizer option, but if you wanted to keep this dish all to yourself, serving it for dinner alongside a fresh salad as a main course is another alternative to consider.
Of course, you absolutely have to pair this Acorn Squash Cheese Spread with a glass of wine. The Gallo Family Cabernet Sauvignon would be a great complement to this dish. It is a full bodied wine with the flavors of blackberries and black currants. It is smooth and pairs well with bold cheeses, which I think make it a great partner for this cheese spread. However, if you are looking for a wine on the lighter side of things, the Gallo Family Pinot Grigio is another selection to consider; it features crisp flavors of fresh green apple, white peach and citrus!
Aside from comforting dishes, the holiday season is also a time to give back. Gallo Family Vineyards believes that no one should go hungry, so they have partnered with the Meals On Wheels Association of America for the Every Cork Counts campaign. From now until December 31, 2014, Gallo Family Vineyards is helping feed families by donating $1 to the Meals On Wheels Association of America for every one of their wine corks that you send them or submit as a photo electronically (up to $50,000). Giving back is easy, so why not get involved? I know I’ll be rounding up all of my Gallo wine corks!
- 2 acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
- 7 ounces canned artichoke heats, drained
- 2 ounces Neufchatel cheese
- 1 cup fat free half and half
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese, freshly grated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh baguette, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a deep roasting/baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Slice the acorn squash in half crosswise (one half is the top of the squash with the stem, the other is the bottom half, making four small bowl shapes). Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Slice a small piece off the bottom of the squash pieces so they can sit upright in the pan without falling over.
- Place the squash in the roasting pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Next, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the spinach leaves and allow them to wilt for about 2 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts and saute for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the Neufchatel cheese and the half and half. Add in the spinach and artichoke mixture and stir until incorporated. Ladle this mixture into the squash halves, about ¾ of the way up.
- Add the freshly grated Gruyere cheese to the top of each squash half.
- Cover the roasting pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven to bake for one hour, until squash becomes tender. If you'd like your baguette to be warm, place it in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil in the last few minutes of baking.
- Finally, remove the aluminum foil from the top of the roasting pan (and remove the bread if it is being warmed), turn the broiler to high, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
- Remove from oven and carefully place the squash halves in bowls or serving plates alongside baguette. Dip, spread, and enjoy!
Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
And of course, make sure you check out all of the fabulous and comforting recipes from the Sunday Supper family today!
Comforting Appetizers and Beverages:
- Acorn Squash Cheese Spread with Spinach and Artichokes by Ruffles & Truffles
- Pomegranate Mulled Wine by The Messy Baker
Comforting Entrees, Soups, and Stews:
- Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Beef Goulash by Magnolia Days
- Beef Stew with Puff Pastry by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Cheesy French Onion Soup by Life Tastes Good
- Chicken and Corn Chowder by The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen
- Chicken Parmesan Panini by Casa de Crews
- Classic Swiss Fondue by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatloaf by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Johnny Marzetti by NeighborFood
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Flatbread by Family Foodie
- White Wine Cream Sauce Poached Shrimp by A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Comforting Side Dishes:
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Parmesan and Dates by Shockingly Delicious
- Stuffed Acorn Squash by Jelly Toast
Comforting Brunch, Desserts, and Sweets:
- Baked Pumpkin French Toast by Alida’s Kitchen
- Cheesecake Bites with Red Wine Chocolate Sauce by Momma’s Meals
- Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cake with Red Wine Raspberry Sauce by Daily Dish Recipes
- Gooey Autumn Spice Brownie Cups by Desserts Required
- Pear Streusel Coffee Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
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