Video: Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Feta and Apple

I love Thanksgiving, because it’s the one holiday where the entire country comes together to prepare a meal with friends and family. Many people have their own ways to cook the turkey and make the mashed potatoes and stuffing, but sometimes, it’s fun to mix it up and add in a new recipe that complements your traditional standbys.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Feta and Apple is an impressive and beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Delicata Squash

It’s a side dish that features fall ingredients such as winter squash, crunchy apples, juicy pomegranate seeds and freshly-harvested walnuts. And if you are hosting some non-meat eaters at your table, this delicious recipe is hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian main course. Delicata squash is my favorite winter squash for this recipe because of its pretty striped and edible skin. This time of year you can find delicata at farmers’ markets, as well as in most well-stocked grocery stores. If, for some reason, you can’t find delicata, you can substitute other winter squash such as butternut or acorn squash, pumpkin or kabocha. You can’t eat the skin on these other types of squash because it is too thick; however their flesh is sweet when roasted and perfectly acceptable as a substitute to delicata.

The easiest way to roast any type of winter squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub both sides with olive oil so that it doesn’t dry out, and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and place in a hot oven until a paring knife can pierce the skin and flesh with no resistance. Although the Pilgrims would not have found quinoa back when they landed at Plymouth Rock, it is one of my favorite healthful grains for stuffing roasted squash. Native to Peru, it has a delicate, nutty flavor that marries well with the honey vinaigrette and other ingredients that we toss in to make the stuffing. Quinoa takes only 10 to 15 minutes to cook, and each grain opens up like a flower when it’s done and the water is absorbed. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving , and happy cooking!

Video: Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Feta and Apple
 
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This is a beautiful and delicious recipe for Thanksgiving. Serve it as a side dish or as a main course for your vegetarian friends.
Author:
Recipe type: Side dish, Vegetarian main course
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 2 Delicata squash, about 1 pound each
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 apple, finely diced
  • 2-3 ounces crumbled goat’s cheese
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
  • 2 ounces baby arugula

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and season the cavities with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Stir in the raisins and let sit, covered, about 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and honey with the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the quinoa along with the apple, walnuts, feta, shallot, garlic, mint and parsley and toss well. Add the pomegranate seeds and arugula and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Set the squash halves on plates. Fill with the salad and serve.

 

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