Loving this roasted squash with toasted quinoa, dates and sage. Kind of like having Thanksgiving flavors all in one dish!
Without Manservant home, I’ve been turning to foods that are more of the one dish style. I love this roasted squash with toasted quinoa! Toasted is definitely the way to go with quinoa. It brings out its wholesome flavors and helps separate the seeds a bit more.
As for squash? Well, I’ve always loved squash. It never mattered whether it came out of the frozen Bird’s Eye paper package or not, I always liked squash. It was when I was in high school that I believe my mother tried her hand at a real acorn squash. At this point I love trying any squash variety and roasting them is my go to method.
Roasted squash with toasted quinoa would make a perfect Thanksgiving side and also for those who can’t abide the bird, a more nutritious and possible center of the meal. Yeah, I know it might be a bit much with potatoes and stuffing, but hey-Thanksgiving is about gluttony; is it not? This is such a pretty dish and pretty tastes good. I jazzed it up with fresh sage leaves, but one could use browned butter sage leaves too. Since I just gave you a recipe like that, I decided to keep this simple.
I am partial to maple vinegar on top, but a drizzle of maple syrup and some balsamic would work great also. The addition of pomegranate arils and pumpkin seeds give this quinoa some texture and taste, and they aren’t just for the pretty! The dates could be subbed with raisins, though I do think dates give this a richer taste and add some chewiness too.
Use your favorite kind of squash. I didn’t even add all the recipe called for, because I could eat roasted squash like one eats crackers and cheese. It is so good coming out of the oven, that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!
This toasted quinoa with roasted squash was a wonderful addition to my staples of grilled cheese, p,b, and j’s and turkey sandwiches that I’ve been eating since Manservant has been gone. And yes, that occasional bowl of cereal! I should keep a container of this in my fridge and munch on it all day long. That being said, it certainly deserves to be the center of one’s table or at least part of the posse.
What’s the best way to roast squash?
Well, it depends on the squash. Some require peeling and some can be cut into cubes or chunks, drizzled with oil and seasoned. Then it’s a matter of placing your baking sheet into a hot oven (375 degrees or higher) where the squash will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to roast, if it is cut into pieces. I used a pretty red kuri squash which did not require peeling.
Butternut squash also does not require peeling and everyone loves butternut. Another way to cook a butternut or other squashes that are easy to slice through is to slice through them vertically. Once sliced remove the seeds, (roast those if you want, just like pumpkin seeds) and then place the squash on an oiled baking sheet with the flesh side down. This will allow the squash to steam and you will know it is ready when you poke it with a fork easily.
Need a guide to the varieties of squash? Well, this might help.
After returning home from Phoenix to 79 degrees in Denver, I figured the fall weather would continue until Manservant arrived. Alas, that was not to be. Yesterday started warm and then the snow started coming. So weird, but we did need moisture badly. It got down to 19 degrees last night and today we have about 4″ of snow on the ground. The dogs are happy and I must admit I was ready for some more seasonal temps also. Yes, we did have the greatest fall ever and it is supposed to be 60 tomorrow, so I’m not complaining.
At this point I really haven’t even wrapped my head around Thanksgiving. I’ve been by myself so long, it sometimes seems like it’s always going to be that way. We do have one invitation for the day, but I’m still not sure what Manservant wants to do. We’ve barely spoken. I’m not sure who he will be when he returns home. I’ll just have to let you know.
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This roasted squash may be made with your choice of squash. Blended with toasted quinoa, dates and sage, this side dish or main course is perfect for any occasion.
- 1 2-3 lb pumpkin (I used Red Kuri)
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
- 2 c quinoa
- 3 c water or broth
- 2 c pitted and julienned medjool dates
- 1/4 c small, torn sage leaves
- Olive oil for drizzling over squash
- 1–2 T balsamic vinegar or maple vinegar
- 1/3 c green pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 c pomegranate arils
Preheat oven to 375. Cut your pumpkin or squash into pieces roughly 3″ square and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour or until soft. Once the pieces are cool, you may choose to peel off the skin. I did not, because red kuri’s skin is not tough. Place pumpkin in bowl.
In a dry skillet over medium heat, add the quinoa. Toast for 5-10 minutes or until it smells toasty. Add 3 c water or broth and 1 T kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the quinoa for 25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside, covered for a few minutes.
Once the quinoa has cooled, add it to the bowl with the pumpkin or squash, along with the dates and sage and 1/4 c olive oil. Toss gently to combine and season heartily with salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar.
Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and pumpkin seeds before serving. I like this served warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Tyler Florence
Keywords: roasted squash, roasted squash recipe, recipe for roasted squash
Need a few more sides for your Thanksgiving posse?