My favorite way to use quinoa is to make salads. Simply start with some cooked quinoa (white, red, black- whatever you have on hand) and stir in seasonal vegetables or fruits. Dress with a simple vinaigrette and add some herbs or spice for flavor. That’s all it takes to make a great meal.
My latest quinoa salad creation makes use of colder weather produce. It includes roasted butternut squash, baby kale, apples, and almonds in sherry-orange dressing.
Kale and Roasted Squash Quinoa Salad Recipe
1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
2 cups fresh baby kale, coarsely chopped
1 large apple, coarsely chopped (such as Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Gala or Fuji)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds or pecans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
small pinch dried thyme leaves, if desired
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
First, roast the squash. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and remove seeds from butternut squash; cut into 3/4-inch chunks. Toss chunks of squash with olive oil; sprinkle salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking pan. Bake 15 minutes; stir. Bake 15 minutes more and then check squash for doneness. Squash should be tender and lightly browned when done. If needed, bake 5 to 10 minutes more. Let cool.
Next, combine the salad ingredients. In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, roasted squash, baby kale, apple and almonds.
Make the Sherry-Orange Dressing. In a jar combine olive oil, orange juice, sherry vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Taste salad and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Makes about 6 cups salad
Note: I used a modest amount of quinoa because I wanted the salad to be mostly produce. If you prefer a salad with more quinoa, add an additional 1 to 2 cups cooked quinoa.
Black Quinoa Salad with Radish and Avocado