I have SO missed posting the last week and a half!! It has been a fun-busy last couple of weeks with the holiday, a friend in town and house sitting for my sister. However…I HAVE been cooking, so I will be back in the habit of blogging this week. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I had a house full this year, which made me happier than I can tell you. Thanksgiving is my kitchen olympics so it was a week full of grocery shopping, decorating and cooking to ready for the 17 family members I had. I can’t take all the credit for the food as it was a collaborative effort between my mom, sis, aunts and grandmother, but it was a feast to be shared amongst individuals I am most grateful for.
The Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Pistachio Goat Cheese dish featured today I fixed for my friend Jocelyn who came through town to visit on her way to Florida for Thanksgiving. She had never been to Greenville before, so I took her around town on Friday and then Saturday we headed up to Bat Cave, NC to spend the day in the mountains. Her great grandmother used to live in the area and Jocelyn spent the majority of her childhood summers there. She hadn’t been to the house since her great grandmother passed 17 years ago so we went to explore the home where she lived all those years ago. We had a blast walking back in time to see the stone steps where she and her sister had carved their names and stamped their hand prints and running into old neighbors that she hand looped area rugs with and the summer camp that they would walk to just up the road from grandma’s house. We even met a dog that would sit on the back of a donkey. Yes…you read that right. I have pictures….
So for dinner, I wanted to make something light and vegetarian, but still fall-ish with Thanksgiving around the corner. After roasting the squash and onions I mixed them into the quinoa with a citrus vinaigrette that gave a lovely brightness to the dish. For having made this up as I went along, it was really good. If you don’t serve the goat cheese with it this is a great vegan dish. I highly recommend making this through the holidays as it’s colorful, healthy and most importantly yummy! Here’s what to do…
Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Pistachio Goat CheeseSERVES PrintDownload
- 2 cups (about 1/2 of a butternut squash)
- 1/2 of a medium red onion
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1/3 cup of golden raisins
- 1/3 cup of cranberries
- olive oil
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1/2 cup pistachios (roasted and salted finely ground)
- Fresh spinach leaves
- Citrus Vinaigrette :
- 2 oranges, 1 Tbsp of zest, 1/3 cup of juice
- 1 Tbsp of dijon mustard
- 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp of honey
- 1 clove of garlic
- salt, pepper
- olive oil (about 1/2 cup)
- Citrus Vinaigrette :
- In a blender add the orange juice, zest, honey, mustard, garlic and pinch of salt and pepper. Blend and add the olive oil. Continue blending until everything is well combined and emulsified. Set aside.
- Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa and Pistachio Goat Cheese :
- Cut the goat cheese into two servings and form into a flattened circle. Grind the pistachios in a food processor until fine. Roll the goat cheese in the pistachios and chill for about 15-20 minutes. If you don't chill it, it will melt as soon as it hits the hot pan.
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions using the vegetable broth in place of water for flavor. Peel the butternut squash and cut into cubes.
- Cut the red onion into thick slices and place on a baking sheet along with the squash. Drizzle and toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast on 425 for about 20 minutes until the squash is tender and browned.
- When the quinoa is done cooking mix in the raisins, cranberries, roasted veggies and vinaigrette. Set aside. In a pan, heat about 2 Tbsp of olive oil to medium high heat. Sear the goat cheese for about 2 minutes on each side to brown the pistachios. Place a handful of spinach on a plate and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil. Top with a scoop of quinoa and a goat cheese round.