There's another fun fact to file away in your mental archives or share at your next dinner party, because doesn't everyone want to know these things?
Whatever it is, I call it delicious. I find butternut squash is a good gateway to the world of winter squash. It's just got an inherently appealing flavor that's nutty and sweet. It's crazy easy to prepare and you can do a ton with it. I think of it as my go-to
For this recipe I decided to give things a bit of a fresh pop by using raw, fresh herbs as well as a spicy kick by using a raw, hot cayenne pepper. I wasn't in the mood for meat so to give the meal some heft I threw in some quinoa (the last of my homegrown batch).
It was enough food for the two of us for dinner, with enough leftovers for a light lunch. I figure as a side dish it would feed 4 people.
Herbed Butternut Squash with Quinoa
- 1 medium-sized butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup, fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
- 1/2 cup, fresh parsley, rough chopped
- 1 fresh cayenne pepper, minced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and rough chopped
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup dry quinoa (yields about 1 cup cooked)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl toss together 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the diced butternut squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the coated butternut squash out onto the lined baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Once cooked, set aside.
- In a food processor, toss in basil, parsley, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Pulse to finely chop and mix together the ingredients.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice. Then, with the food processor on, stream in the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. The result will look like a paste.
- Scrape the herb mixture into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Once the butternut squash pieces are fork tender and slightly crisp around the edges remove from the oven.
- Add the cooked butternut squash and cooked quinoa to a large bowl. Stir in the herb paste.
- Serve warm.
Photos by Renato Ghio