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Spiced Quinoa with Butternut Squash

Posted Jan 22 2010 6:46am

I for one am finding myself chilled to the bone on these cold winter’s nightsand after a long daythere is nothing better to come home to than a bowl of something warmingdelicious and comforting.  Continuing on the quinoa themeI wanted to make a dish that puts a little heat in my belly and a smile on my faceand what better way to do that than with a bowl of fierysweet and nutty Spiced Quinoa with Butternut Squash.

I have used red quinoa for this recipe because of its slightly nutty taste and textureplusthe colours of the richred quinoa and the zingyorange squash look wonderfully inspiring when together.  There is no real difference between red quinoa and its plainer counterpart; the cooking time is approximately the samemaybe a few minutes more for red quinoa andlike the paler varietyit needs a good dose of stock for flavour.  Herethe nutty quinoa mingles with sweetroasted butternut squash in an intense blend of harissa spices; while dried apricots and toastedflaked almonds add a fruity undertone and added bite respectively.  You can find harissa paste in many supermarkets and certainly any specialist shopsbut if you would like to make your own you can find my simple recipe for it under my Butternut Squash Tagine post.

I like to serve this as a vegetarian lunch or supperperhaps with a large green salad and a dollop of hoummousor even some roasted peppers and fennel.  It also works very well as an accompaniment to roasted meatsin particular lamb or chicken.  However you serve itthis dish is guaranteed to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.

SPICED QUINOA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Serves 4

1 small butternut squash

1 large red onion

1 cup of red quinoa

2 cups of vegetable stock

100g dried apricots

50g flaked almonds

2 tbsp olive oil

1½ tsp harissa paste

A small bunch of coriander

Preheat the oven to 200c (180c Fan).  Place the flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast until golden.  Chop the dried apricots in to small pieces and finely chop the corianderthen peel and roughly chop the red onion.  Peel the butternut squashscoop out its seeds and chop in to small cubesapproximately 1cm in size.  Combine the onion and squash in a roasting traypour over the olive oilseasonadd the harissa paste and mix thoroughly so that everything is well coated.  Cook in the oven for 35 minutes or until roasted and tender.

Meanwhileplace the quinoa in a saucepan and cover with the vegetable stock.  Cover and bring to the boilonce boiling turn the heat down to its lowest setting andkeeping coveredsimmer gently for 15 - 20 minutes or until all the stock has been absorbed.

Once the quinoa is cooked throughfluff up with a fork and tip in to a large mixing bowl; add the roasted squashonionstoasted almondsapricots and coriander.  Mix together until thoroughly combined and serve while warm.

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