Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 to 8 as a side
Autumn is quite the trade-off season. Who among us is really ready to say good-bye to summer and to embrace these chilly temperatures we're now experiencing? But then there's the long-anticipated reappearance of all of our harvest favorites - pumpkins and squash being some of my most favorite vegetables, plus the arrival of fall fruits, and the cure for the common cold outside: roasted meals. It's not an entirely fair trade, but the promise of good food does make it a bit more palatable. Pun intended.
This dish is nutty, sweet, and hearty, and an ideal make-ahead dish for lunches, though it's also quite useful as a side dish to roasted chicken or pork. From time to time, I'll add oven-dried apples and pears to this dish - you can't go wrong with those additional fall favorites in the mix, believe me you.
2 pounds peeled and cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
vegetable broth, for cooking the quinoa (rather than water)
1 cup quinoa (uncooked), cooked according to the manufacturer's directions (yep. using that vegetable broth with the parenthetical "rather than water" mention)
(1) 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes if whole, 6-8 minutes if pieces
honey for drizzling
It's just that easy. I read the ingredients, and thought, "um, why am I explaining this?" But I love this dish, and so explain I will.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the butternut squash in the olive oil, then transfer to the squash to a 10 by 15-inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the squash is softened and is beginning to brown, 35-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa, rinse those beans, and place them in a large mixing bowl. Once the squash is done, add it on in. Stir well, season with salt and pepper if you so desire, then spoon it out onto your plate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the toasted walnuts over each serving, drizzle with honey if you so desire, and viola! Gluten-free, protein-rich autumn magic. It almost makes the transition from summer less painful. Almost.
Copyright 2010, Amy McCoy/Poor Girl Gourmet. May not be reprinted without permission.