Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Currants and Pear Vinaigrette

Quinoa is so yummy.  Paired with the roasted butternut squash and sweet currants make this dish extra special.  You can serve this as a main course vegetarian meal over a bed of lettuce, or as a side dish with your roasted chicken or fish.

This is how we do it…(that is a song that is stuck in my head :) )

I purchased a bag of butternut squash that was already diced.  I had a little harder time finding the pear vinegar.  I finally found it at my beloved Nugget Market.  It is a pear infused white balsamic vinegar.  On the sweeter side and just a little thicker.  Oh so tasty.

In a medium sized saucepan add the can of chicken broth (or you can use vegetable broth if you want it to be a vegetarian dish) and one cup of water.  Bring to a boil then add the quinoa.  Let boil on medium high heat for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and put the lid on.  Set aside.

Place the diced butternut squash on a foil lined baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle olive oil over the top and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat evenly.

Place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.  We want them to have just a little crisp to them and not be totally mushy.

Just showing you how small the butternut squash was cut.  Perfect bite sized.

Whisk together the oil and pear vinegar.  Lightly season with salt and pepper.  I can totally see myself getting addicted to this vinegar.  It has a great aroma and taste to it.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork.

In a large bowl toss all the ingredients together, tossing the vinaigrette into the mix.

Best if served chilled, but I thought it was delicious warm, too.  Enjoy!

Quinoa, Butternut Squash, and Currants with a Pear Vinaigrette
Serves 6

1 3/4 cup uncooked organic quinoa
1 cup water
1- 14oz can chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/3 cup dried currants
1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
1 1/2 cup diced butternut squash
2 bunches green onions, minced (white to pale green only)
2 1/2 tablespoons pear vinegar
2 tablespoons light olive oil OR grapeseed oil OR canola oil (something light)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small saucepan boil the water and chicken broth.  Add the quinoa, reduce to medium-high.  Cook until all liquids are absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Place lid on saucepan for 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Dice the butternut squash and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place diced squash on a foil lined pan.  Lightly drizzle the butternut squash with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for about 12-15 minutes.

While the quinoa and squash are cooking, mince the green onions and whisk together the pear vinegar and oil together, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add the cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, pecans, green onions and currants.  Toss with the vinaigrette.  Place in refrigerator for about 4 hours.  Serve chilled over a bed of lettuce.


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