I’m ready to concede that summer is over. The light down jacket is out, the leaves are turning, and now I find myself craving pumpkin with a strength that cannot be denied. But as I refuse to post about pumpkin stuff yet, as it’s still September and I am a valiant defender of keeping holidays within their respective months, I’ve had to wrack my brain to come up with something to post.
Luckily, butternut squash is not pumpkin, so I’m able to share with you this delicious salad recipe. I’ve made a number of similar salads in the past, but this is the only one to include so many fall flavors into one. Appropriate for the first day of autumn, no?
This recipe makes a ton, so feel free to eat this for lunch for the next few days. The kale, quinoa, squash and pepitas are all pretty sturdy and last well for three days in the fridge, making it an ideal packable lunch. Plus, the butternut squash gives you all of that autumn feel without, you know, actually being pumpkin, It’s a win-win.
- 1 small butternut squash or 1/2 large one, diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups broth or stock
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and cut into ribbons
- 1/3 cup roasted, salted pepitas
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tsp maple syrup
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss together the diced butternut squash, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the squash is tender. Remove and let cool.
- Meanwhile, bring quinoa and broth or stock to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and let cool.
- Prepare the kale, then massage in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- When quinoa and butternut squash are cool, add to kale with cranberries and pepitas. Toss to combine.
- In a small jar, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Drizzle over salad — taste and add salt, maple syrup or other items to taste.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to three days.