Monday, March 20, 2017

Baked Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash and Gruyere

Happy Spring! It’s here at last and I, for one, am thrilled! Even though the winter here in NJ wasn’t as bad as it could have been, I absolutely detest the cold, gray days. So I say, onto brighter, warmer, sunnier days!

And now that we've rounded the bend from winter, you may want to start thinking about options for the upcoming Easter holiday, or Spring dinner parties, and I've got a great suggestion for you. The recipe, as it stands, doesn’t work for Passover due to the breadcrumbs, but you could substitute matzoh meal and it would probably succeed nicely.

We eat a lot of quinoa in my home, and although we usually jazz it up by making it with chicken stock (rather than water) and adding in diced veggies and fragrant herbs, it’s still not all that exciting. But last week I found a recipe on food52 that piqued my interest: Baked Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash and Gruyere. Sounds good, no? Indeed!

The recipe calls for fresh breadcrumbs and I urge you to follow the recipe rather than using store bought crumbs. It really does make a difference and it’s so easy to make your own. You can either use a leftover baguette, or buy a couple of rolls. Simply pulse the bread (torn into pieces) in the food processor, and voila, fresh breadcrumbs! Any crumbs you may have left over can be frozen for a future use. It really couldn’t be easier and the result is worth it. 

Besides being delicious, this bake with a golden crunchy topping is versatile. It can stand alone as a hearty non-meat main course, or it can shine as a lovely side dish to say, a crisp roast chicken or oven-baked pork chops. It’s good for a crowd - it bakes in a large 9x13 baking dish - but it also keeps well several days in the refrigerator. 

Here’s wishing you a lovely Spring!