Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad with Cranberries, Pepitas, and Honey Clementine Dressing

We made our "post-Christmas restocking" grocery store run last night, so our fridge and pantry are no longer bare after two weeks in Texas. Wanting to cook something lighter yet still satisfying, I came across a beautiful recipe for butternut squash and quinoa salad that sounded perfect. I had some brussels sprouts from the Medford Winter Farmer's Market just begging to be roasted, so I decided to  throw those in as well A few brussels sprouts never hurt anybody.

Granted, as my cattle rancher dad would probably say, "You know, this would go really great with a steak." So if vegetarian meals aren't your thing, this would make a great side dish as well. Either way, it's a winning combination of roasted vegetables, just enough sweet from the cranberries and Honey Clementine Dressing, a little crunch from the pepitas, and quinoa to help it stick to your ribs.
Serves 4

1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-in cubes
1 lb brussels sprouts, stems and outer leaves removed and halved
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 c quinoa
2 c water
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas

Honey Clementine Dressing:
2 large clementines, zested and juiced
2 Tb olive oil
1/2 Tb honey 
(If you live in MA, the local Carlisle Raw Spring Blossom Honey is wonderful)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Drizzle the butternut squash and brussels sprouts with olive oil, toss to coat. Spread them out on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, until tender

While the butternut squash and brussels sprouts are roasting, cook the quinoa. Bring the water and 1/4 tsp salt to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed (or cook according to package directions). Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Whisk together the clementine juice, zest, olive oil, and honey and then season with salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, and pepitas. Drizzle dressing over the salad (I used about half of the dressing above, but you can use more or less depending on your preference). Toss until ingredients are well dressed. Season with more salt and pepper if needed, and serve.

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