2 medium butternut squash (2 to 2 1/4 pounds each)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons dried unsweetened cherries
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
The oven should be set up with a rack in the center and heated to 400 degrees F.
Each squash should be cut in half lengthwise, with the seeds removed and thrown away. Place the halves flesh-side up in a large baking dish.
The vinegar, maple syrup, and two teaspoons of oil are whisked together. Apply some of the maple oil on the squash halves' flesh side and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. In the baking dish, place the squash flesh-side down. Brush the skin-side with the maple-oil mixture, then season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roast the squash for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fork-tender. When the squash is cool enough to handle, let it rest. Scoop part of the flesh out, leaving a 1/4-inch border all around, and place it in a big bowl. Leave reasonably sizable bits of the flesh that was scraped out.
While this is happening, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, turning regularly, for about 6 minutes, until they are tender and golden brown. Stir the rice for about a minute while adding the curry powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to toast the spices. When the rice is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, add 2 cups of water and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes (different brands of wild rice may vary in cooking times; add more water if needed). Remove from heat and add the remaining maple oil, cherries, parsley, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to the butternut squash chunks.
Fill the hollowed-out squash halves evenly with the filling, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and bake, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the filling is thoroughly warmed. Place each on a serving dish after cutting each in half crosswise. Add some parsley and walnuts as a garnish. Serve hot.