Acorn squash seems to get all the attention when it comes to stuffing, but there are other varieties that take well to this treatment, including kabocha and small spaghetti squash and pumpkins. Select squash that are 1 to 2 pounds; the smallest spaghetti squash are around 2 pounds. When cutting the squash in half, do it through the equator or the stem, whichever makes more sense for the shape of that particular variety. The squash halves are partially baked, then stuffed and finished to keep the filling from drying out.

Stuffed Winter Squash with Quinoa, Corn, and Tomatoes

Yield: 4 servings Time: 60 to 75 minutes, mostly unattended
2 or 4 winter squash (depending on the variety)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup quinoa
1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half. If necessary, take a thin slice off the uncut side so the squash half sits on the counter without rocking. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers. Brush the interior and cut sides with oil (for varieties with edible skin, also brush the skin) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.

2. While the squash is in the oven, put the quinoa in a medium saucepan with 11/2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the water is just below the surface of the quinoa. Turn the heat off, cover, and let stand until the remaining water is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, parsley, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. After 25 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and turn them cut side up. Divide the stuffing among the squash halves and return to the oven to roast until the squash is fork tender, another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve the stuffed squash drizzled with a little extra olive oil, if you like.