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BellaOnline's Holiday/Seasonal Cooking Editor

Roasted Squash with Pumpkin Seed Crust and Chicken Barley Salad Recipe

I love chicken salad and this one is different with barley and placed into a roasted butternut squash with a pumpkin seed crust. It's just delicious! Serve with a glass of wine and a few bread sticks.... What a meal!

Roasted Squash with Pumpkin Seed Crust and Chicken Barley Salad

2 med. butternut squash

1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds shelled and chopped
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Chicken Salad Stuffing:
2 cups cubed precooked chicken slightly browned in vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. cooked barley (cook in chicken broth)
10 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves chopped into bite size pieces
2 green onions trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup whole kernel corn, cooked.
1 TBSP finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP whole roasted pumpkin seeds (raw if you prefer), shelled

olive oil
few roasted whole pumpkin seeds

Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and strings. Put a little water in a baking pan and place the halves face down and bake at 350º F for 1/2 hour.

Prepare chicken salad while squash is cooking.

Cook your preferred barley as directed on package but substitute chicken broth instead of water and include the sun-dried tomatoes toward end of cooking.

Set aside to cool.

Heat corn kernels and drain.

Lightly brown precooked chicken cubes in oil and drain well.

Combine, barley mixture, corn, chicken, salt and lime juice.

Add pumpkin seeds and green onion and mix gently.

Set aside until needed.

In a blender or food processor place the pumpkin seeds, bread crumbs and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and blend thoroughly.

When squash is cooked remove from baking pan and pour off any water remaining. Place squash back in pan face up and pat dry with paper towels.

Remove pumpkin seed mixture from blender and spread on top of each butternut squash half until the surface around the cavity is covered in the pumpkin seed crust.

Place in the pre heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the crust has turned golden brown and is crunchy.

Remove from oven and fill the cavity with the chicken salad and serve.

To serve: Place a few large leaves of lettuce in the middle of the plate, then top with the stuffed butternut squash. Sprinkle with a drizzle of olive oil and a few unshelled pumpkin seeds around the plate and on lettuce.

Serves 4

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