In the name of Valentine’s Day (yes, that big ol’ Hallmark holiday some of us enjoy – and some of us don’t really care too much about), I wanted to share with you a dramatically truthful and utterly heart-warming love story.
A love story about a girl and a squash. [Love story can be found at the end of the post.]
This winter quinoa salad is my ode to the Delicata squash. When tossed with honey and chipotle and roasted in a hot oven, it takes on a warm and hearty flavor and texture. The grapefruit wedges add a lively tartness to the mix, and the sweetness from the honey brings everything together into a satisfying bowl of yum. Serve it warm, room temp, or chilled. However you like! It would probably be great to take as leftovers for lunch, too.
I hope that if you ever have the great fortune of coming across a Delicata squash in the grocery store, you’re inspired to snatch it up and take it home with you for dinner.
Smoky Sweet Winter Quinoa Salad
A smoky sweet red quinoa salad with roasted Delicata squash and grapefruit spears tossed with a zesty citrus dressing. Enjoy!
- 2 small Delicata squash (or 1 large)
- 1 medium grapefruit
- 1/3 cup grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed from reserved pulp)
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp honey, divided
- 1/2 tsp chipotle sauce (from canned chipotles in adobo)
- 2 tbsp oil (we used Grapeseed), divided
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- fresh parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Slice each squash half crosswise into 1/2" pieces. Peel and segment the grapefruit into wedges. Squeeze remaining juice from pulp into a small bowl and reserve. Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold running water for 1 minute and let drain. Peel and mince garlic clove. Roughly chop pecans. If using, clean parsley and separate the leaves from the hard stems.
- Toss squash with 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp chipotle sauce (or powder), minced garlic and 1 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender and golden brown (~20 minutes). Flip squash once after 10 minutes.
- Toast the quinoa in a small heavy pot over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry and fragrant. Add water and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed (about 20-25 minutes for red quinoa). Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- While quinoa and squash are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the reserved grapefruit juice, cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey, red pepper flakes and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add quinoa, squash, grapefruit wedges, chopped pecans and citrus dressing to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Portion into dishes. Serves 2-3 as an entree or 4 as a side salad.
Taste test as you go and adjust seasonings according to preference.
Copyright © 2016 Kale & Compass
[Love story] I first discovered Delicata squash in a CSA box I received a few years back. With its warm yellow glow and bright green stripes, I was instantly intrigued. The rest was history. Since then there have been many a dish in my home featuring the lovely little squash. I love you, you little guy, you. You’re so easy to cut (unlike Spaghetti or Butternut), you don’t need to be peeled and you cook so quickly…