Butternut Squash, Craisin and Quinoa Pilaf (or salad)

Trying to use up my grains before Pesach, I made a variation on this recipe from Whole Foods for Butternut Squash Kasha Salad with Citrus Vinagrette and Spicy Almonds.

I took the basic idea of the recipe and ran with it:
(1) roast butternut squash until tender, after tossing it with oil, salt and pepper.
(2) toss kasha with a citrus dressing.
(3) combine squash and kasha.

The results were quite nice. The kasha took on an orange-ey flavor which worked well with the roasted squash. I served it warm as a pilaf and then leftover cold as a salad with some extra dressing added. The only thing I wish I had added was some craisins and sliced almonds.

The next week, I made a similar recipe with red quinoa, with the dried cranberries and scallions added in. Then I remembered that I had seen a similar recipe here. Actually, if you google it, you will see that there are quite a few recipes pairing quinoa with butternut squash.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Pilaf/Salad with Citrus Dressing
Inspired by this Whole Foods recipe and this recipe here.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or broth
20 ounces butternut squash, cut in 1″ cubes
olive oil
salt, pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
juice 2 lemons
1 Tbl. honey
1 shallot, minced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 cup craisins
1 cup sliced almonds or pecan halves, optional

Put the squash cubes on a sheet pan. Toss with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast the squash at 400 degrees until tender and starting to brown around the edges, about a half hour.

Make the quinoa pilaf by cooking the quinoa with the water or broth (add a little salt and pepper) per package directions.

Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, 2 Tbl. olive oil, shallots, and honey, plus salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the sweetness and seasoning to taste.

Pour the orange dressing over the quinoa and mix well. Stir in the scallions (plus craisins and nuts, if using). Toss in the butternut squash.

Serve warm or cold.

Update: I never posted my kasha version of this salad, which was quite nice, so here it is:

Butternut Squash Kasha Salad with Citrus Maple Dijon Dressing
Inspired by this Whole Foods recipe.

1 cup whole grain kasha
2 cups water or broth
20 ounces butternut squash, cut in 1″ cubes
olive oil
salt, pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
juice 2 lemons
1 Tbl. honey
1 shallot, minced
1 bunch scallions, sliced (original recipe called for 4 Tbl. chopped mint instead of scallions, which would be nice in addition to the scallion)
(I didn’t add, but the salad would have been even better with some sliced almonds, may 1/2 cup, and I would also like to add craisins or golden raisins next time)

Maple Dijon Dressing (I added this the next day)
This dressing was inspired from the sauce from this chicken recipe from Witty in the City.
olive oil ( I didn’t measure anything, but it was about 2 Tbl.)
maple syrup (about 2 Tbl.)
Dijon mustard (about 1 tsp.)
rice wine vinegar (about 1 tsp.)
orange juice (a splash, maybe 2-4 Tbl.)
salt, pepper to taste

Put the squash cubes on a sheet pan. Toss with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast the squash at 400 degrees until tender and starting to brown around the edges, about a half hour.

Make the kasha pilaf by cooking the kasha with the water or broth (add a little salt and pepper) per package directions.

Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, 2 Tbl. olive oil, shallots, and honey, plus salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the sweetness and seasoning to taste.

Pour the orange dressing over the kasha and mix well. Stir in the scallions (plus raisins and nuts, if using). Toss in the butternut squash.

Serve warm or cold. For added flavor, combine the ingredients for the maple Dijon dressing, adjust seasoning to taste, and drizzle a little of the dressing over the kasha squash salad. Toss everything together and add more dressing as needed.
To cook the kasha, bring the water to a boil in a small pot with a lid. Once boiling, add Kasha and reduce heat to a simmer. Add a pinch of salt and cover. Cook for about 10—15 minutes or until cooked through. Strain if there is excess liquid, place in a bowl and let cool.

To make the vinaigrette, mix grapefruit, orange juice and lemon juice in a bowl. Strain mixture into a blender. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, honey and shallot. Mix at medium speed and with machine running add about 3 tablespoons olive oil in a slow drizzle. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper or extra honey, according to taste. Set aside.

To make the spicy almonds, preheat oven to 250°F. Place the blanched, peeled almonds in a small mixing bowl, sprinkle with the vegetable oil and season with cayenne pepper and salt according to taste. Place on a baking sheet and cook for about 5 minutes or until fragrant and slightly brown, checking often. Take out of the oven, place in a bowl and let them cool.

To assemble salad, mix cooled kasha with cooled butternut squash. Add about 8 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Add lemon zest, mint and almonds. Toss, taste and adjust seasonings/dressing as desired. Serve immediately.

Tags: ,

3 Responses to “Butternut Squash, Craisin and Quinoa Pilaf (or salad)”

  1. rivkye Says:

    It sounds lovely! Just wanted to let you know that many Rabbi’s approve the use of quinoa on Pesach and it is, in fact, served in many Passover hotels. Buckwheat/kasha is kitniyot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: