It’s recipe challenge time with Melissa’s Produce! Every once in a while a group of San Diego Food Bloggers receive a package of produce to come up with a tasty recipe with at least 3 of the ingredients from the box. For the last challenge I made a bacon & brussels quinoa with a leeks & beet crostini. This time we received butternut squash, dried cranberries, pine nuts, shallots, baby dutch potatoes, pearl onions, fava beans, blackeyed peas and garbanzo beans. I used the first 4 ingredients to make a butternut squash quinoa with shallot dressing and it turned out really tasty. I have been making shallot dressing a lot lately and it pairs perfectly with these ingredients.
I thought about making a spinach salad with these same ingredients but I was really looking for something hearty that could also be served at Thanksgiving. Quinoa seemed like a good fit for these items.
This dish is fairly easy to make. The “hardest” part is cutting the butternut squash. I first peeled the squash, sliced it in half and took out all the seeds and membranes. Then I sliced the squash into one inch cubes. My hubby suggested that next time I slice into 1/2 inch cubes. Either way works fine so slice to your desired thickness. After the squash is cut, place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Then wash your quinoa thoroughly! While the squash is cooking put the quinoa on the stove to cook according to package directions.
I then toasted the pine nuts in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes on 35o degrees. Keep a close eye on the pine nuts as they can burn easily.
I then mixed up the shallot dressing. Chop the shallot into small pieces and add to a bowl. Add the remaining vinaigrette ingredients: 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1/3 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Once the squash and quinoa is cooked you can mix together gently. Stir in half of the toasted pine nuts, cranberries and shallot vinaigrette into the squash quinoa mixture. Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts and cranberries on top of the dish.
I received produce from Melissa’s Produce. All opinions are my own.