Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Harvest Recipe
- about 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (half of 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- one extra-large (about 2 heaping cups diced) sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small
- 1 cup quinoa (I use tri-colored)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup dried cranberries (I use orange-scented dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, optional and to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, add the butternut squash and evenly drizzle with maple syrup, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and toss to combine. Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender. Stir twice while squash bakes to ensure even cooking. Baking time will range based on exact size of squash pieces and natural variance in squash as some have more moisture and release more juice while baking. While the squash bakes, start sautéing the onions.
- To a large skillet or saucepan, add the olive oil, onions, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened and are lightly caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and stir it into the onions and let it toast for about 30 seconds.
- Add the water, apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, reduce the heat to low, cover pan, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
- Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add the dried cranberries, almonds, parsley, squash and all the cooking liquid, and stir to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance, and if necessary to brighten up the flavor, add lemon juice to taste. I added it and it doesn’t make the dish taste lemony but the acid balances the flavor. If necessary add more salt, pepper, or possibly a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat. Dish can be served warm and immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The flavors develop over time and tastes better a day or two after making it, and can either be served warm or cold.