I love both quinoa and roasted butternut squash, so when I found this recipe, I couldn't wait to make it and share with you. It's one of those rare salads that are great the day you make them, and even better the next day.
Spinach, pistachios, cranberries, fresh thyme, all make this salad power packed with nutrients for a healthy, radiant complexion.
Quinoa and Roasted Butternut Squash
(Adapted from Food Network recipe)
1 lb pre-cut butternut squash*
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup shelled pistachios
1 ½ cups quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth or water
(I used chicken broth and added 1 clove of finely chopped garlic to quinoa as it was cooking in broth)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (add to squash when roasting)
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used 2 tablespoons)
3 ounces baby spinach
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
Place the squash, and onion in a medium bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the oil, the thyme and 2 teaspoons of salt and season with pepper to taste. Mix until the squash is well coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread squash out into a single layer. Roast until a paring knife slides into the squash with no resistance, about 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through the cooking time. Put the pistachios on a small baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa in cold water in a fine-mesh strainer. Bring the broth or water to a boil and stir in the quinoa and chopped garlic. Simmer, uncovered until a small white spiral becomes visible in each grain, about 9 minutes. Drain the quinoa and transfer it to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the pistachios, cranberries, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.
Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl and toss with the hot squash until slightly wilted. Add the quinoa mixture and toss again. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Items in bold represent changes I made to original recipe.