Seasonal, savory, splashed with color and crunch! Quinoa brings me back to my work in the Andes. A striking crop, ripe with nutrition. Unfortunately, most of the harvested grains are sold to places where more “elite eaters” are found: the U.S. and Europe. Funny, considering this was a staple peasant crop prior to its foodie-fication! Malnutrition and food insecurity have taken the place of quinoa and other native crops, but there are many efforts underway to re-introduce this cultural food. If you want more on this perplexing reality, read here.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash, Leeks & Toasted Almonds
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 butternut squash, quartered
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small leek
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato olive oil
- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup golden almonds, or regular almonds
- salt & ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400. Cut a butternut squash into quarters and place flat side down in a dish of water. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes. In a small pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until water is fully observed. Check at least once. In the meantime, toast the almonds in a small pan. KEEP AN EYE ON THEM. The minute you turn around, they will burn. True story. When sufficiently toasted, set aside.
- When the squash is tender, remove from the oven and let cool. When cooled, scoop out with a spoon and chop coarsely. Set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet or frying pan, add the extra virgin olive oil and saute the leeks for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of white wine if you have it on hand. Add the quinoa, squash, salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. Remove to a separate bowl and toss with the sun-dried tomato olive oil. Sprinkle with almonds and raisins.