Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

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Not only is this dish DE-LISH, it is also a visually beautiful contribution to the menu. The burnt orange from the butternut squash and persimmon, combined with pomegranate, celery, and parsley make it an artistic winner at any meal. This Thanksgiving, I had a number of friends with dietary restrictions joining my family gathering, so I knew there would be a new variety of side dishes to try. Thank goodness I’m a foodie Instagram addict and found MindBodySoul’s awesome recipe reposted by Whole Foods. I was inspired and contributed something totally different from the other typical Thanksgiving dishes. Even the carnivores were impressed! Can’t wait to go round two with this recipe.

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Adapted from MindBodySoul (serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 persimmons, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • parsley for garnish

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey (or sugar alternative to make the dressing vegan)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. On a baking sheet, toss squash with olive oil, maple syrup and salt until well covered.
  4. Roast squash for 30 min or until well caramelized. Rotate once during roasting time. Once done, set aside to cool.
  5. It’s dressing time! Whisk together all ingredients until the honey/sugar alternative is completely dissolved. I find shaking the container really helps emulsify the dressing if you’re not using a food processor.
  6. Combine cooled quinoa and butternut squash with all ingredients, then toss with the dressing. Note: start small with the dressing, and blend in more to taste (you don’t want it to be soggy with vinaigrette).
  7. Sprinkle some parsley on top and you’re set to mangia!
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