Fonio, a grain native to West Africa, adds super fiber and protein to this stuffed squash dish but still feels light and great. The flavors of West Africa and the Caribbean are dear to my heart, and this recipe is a love letter them.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and grease the parchment with some oil.
Slice the root and stem ends off of the squash and cut each in half widthwise (through the middle). Remove the seeds with a spoon and brush the squash all over with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt and pepper, place cut-side down on the prepared pans and roast until tender and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the squash roasts, cook the fonio filling. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the dates and shallot. Cook, stirring, until the shallot softens, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the fonio and stir until well-coated with oil. Then pour in the broth and add the red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, cover the pan and turn the heat to low; simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let rest, covered, for 4 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Fold the parsley into the fonio. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff the squash halves with the fonio mixture and set upright on the parchment-lined sheet pans that you used to roast the squash. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes.
Uncover, top each squash half with goat cheese and turn the oven to broil. Broil the squash until browned and crunchy on top, 3 to 5 minutes.