|Roasted butternut squash with quinoa, sausage and greens|
Regular readers know that I'm continuing my participation in the From Scratch Club's virtual book club, in which a group of home cooks selects a cookbook and then makes and discusses some recipes from each chapter or section. We're currently cooking our way through Liana Krissoff's Whole Grains for a New Generation (we're lucky enough to have Liana participating in our online discussions, too!).
Our last grain topic was rice. This time, it's quinoa.
I've become a huge fan of quinoa over the past few years, in large part because it is easy to prepare while also being one of the few good-for-you grains that Mr. Ninj doesn't hate (See? No kids, yet I have my own picky eater to deal with).
I chose this recipe from Liana's book because I love butternut squash. Since I, too, often pair it with sausage, as is called for here, I knew I couldn't go wrong. Added bonus? Liana included a recipe for making your own quick sausage, which was easy and awesome.
(Apparently I wasn't alone in my choice: this was by far the most-selected recipe among all the book club members -- even the vegetarians and vegans, who used seitan sausage instead).
And did I mention it is gluten-free?
I modified Liana's recipe by omitting some sage and adding a whole boatload of spinach, stirred in just before serving so it wilts nicely, because I like the ease and convenience of one-bowl meals.
I loved this dish and envision it making it fairly regularly. Don't be skeptical of cooking the quinoa and the sausage together; it worked well. The sausage loses a little bit of its pan-fried crispness but I'm happy to sacrifice that for the convenience.
Good-for-you comfort food with a gorgeous presentation: what's not love?
Roasted Butternut Squash with Quinoa, Sausage and Greens
(adapted from Whole Grains for a New Generation)
1 approx. 1.5-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
3 large shallots, quartered and sliced
10-12 ounces sweet Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 handfuls baby spinach (or arugula or kale)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the squash and shallots with some olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, heat a little olive oil in large saucepan and cook the sausage, stirring to break up large chunks, over medium-ish heat until browned (about 10-12 minutes). Use a paper towel to soak up any excess fat in the pan. Add the water, then stir in the quinoa and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed (this takes about 15-20 minutes). Remove the lid and stir in the spinach until just wilted.
Combine the quinoa mixture and the squash mixture gently in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.