“On the farm I grew up on we always had a large vegetable garden and squash was a vegetable that I looked forward to eating each fall. Mom prepared it simply; she roasted it and melted her homemade butter on top. This recipe adds a few more ingredients and dresses the squash up into a superb main dish while adding a modern twist to an old favourite.” —Rosemary
Place barley in a small saucepan with broth and bring to the boil; cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a 9- × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) rimmed baking sheet with wet parchment paper. Set aside.
Scrub squash well. Cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds, scooping out some squash to make a larger cavity. Place squash cut side down on the prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until flesh is tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove squash and increase oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). If the parchment paper is burnt, discard and reline pan with clean parchment paper.
In a 4-cup (1 L) microwave-safe container, cook onion and garlic in microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Add mushrooms and cook for 1 additional minute on high. Stir, add cooked barley, roasted red pepper, apple, walnuts and sage. Mix together and cook on high for 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Place squash in prepared pan and spoon mixture into squash halves. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and mixture is heated through.