Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Orange

I lied. This isn't cookies. It is a whole grain salad with greens -- much healthier! This Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Orange, sourced from Veggie Num Num, was a bright spot on an otherwise dreary Saturday. The caramelized squash and orange's sweetness are balanced by the arugula's sharpness, the creamy tang of feta and balsamic reduction's punch. The variety of textures brought by the combination of ingredients also plays well on the palate.

The original recipe involved pumpkin and walnuts. I substituted a butternut squash and its seeds for these items as pumpkin wasn't available and nuts aren't sitting too well with me these days. To make the recipe easier, you could use pre-packaged cubed butternut squash instead of dicing your own squash or pumpkin. If you do that revert back to the walnuts instead of squash seeds or substitute another roasted nut or seed of your choice.

Due to a scent aversion to reheated oranges, that I will be kind and not mention to you, I ended up discarding the orange in my leftovers but I can tell you that overall this dish reheats pretty well and, for me, it yielded about 6 meals. I will make it again even though it uses more dishes than I prefer for a single course as I loved the flavor and presentation.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Orange
very minimally adapted from Veggie Num Num

1 cup quinoa
1.5 cups vegetable stock
2 oranges
2 pounds Butternut Squash, diced with seeds rinsed and reserved
1 cup Chickpeas (canned is fine)
5 shallots, quartered
2 cups Arugula
1/2 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the quinoa, stock and juice of 1 orange in a pot; bring to the boil. Turn down heat and simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes until liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.
3. Cut the remaining orange into wedges.
4. Place a large baking sheet drizzled with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the heated oven to warm the oil. Remove from the oven when oil is hot.
5. Place the butternut squash and its seeds, chickpeas, shallot bulbs and orange wedges on the tray the baking sheet; toss well to coat with oil.
6. Return to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until chickpeas are crisp and squash tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
7. While the above mixture roasts pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until reduced by half and vinegar is syrupy. Set aside to cool.
8. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; dress with balsamic reduction to taste (2-3 tablespoons).
9. Serve over extra arugula with an extra balsamic reduction, if desired.

Yours will look even better if you don't overcook the quinoa. ;)

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  1. Looks good! I have been into the "greens+other stuff" salad formula lately.

  2. Thank you! It works quite well and is much simpler than other things, Elliot. I think you are on to something.